As workplace issues on COVID-19 infections and vaccinations evolve, states are likely to continue to consider further COVID-19 and infectious disease workers compensation presumption legislation in 2022, according to a report published Thursday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.
In 2020 and 2021, the legislative hot topic was COVID-19 workers compensation presumptions, writes NCCI’s Laura Kersey, division executive of regulatory and legislative business analysis, which established that an employee’s exposure to or contraction of COVID-19 was work-related or is a compensable injury or disease.
The focus on comp and vaccinations observed in late 2021 will continue in the new year, at the very least in states that pre-filed comp-related COVID-19 vaccination legislation for the 2022 legislative session, including Alabama, Kentucky, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
New legislative trends may also emerge, Ms. Kersey writes, particularly on addressing worker status, single-payer health insurance and the legalization of marijuana, the report states.
NCCI expects additional activity on the issue of worker status in California, as well as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, where legislation has been introduced to create a state test for determining worker status that was similar to the California ABC test.
Legislative bills that proposed to implement or study single-payer health insurance systems were introduced in 17 states last year, according to NCCI, nine of which specifically referenced workers compensation or injured workers’ medical benefits.
Legislation to legalize marijuana will be considered by several states in 2022, including Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska and Rhode Island, and potentially others where efforts to consider ballot measures to legalize marijuana during the November 2022 elections have been observed, the report states.