AN ACT TO CREATE A PRESUMPTION THAT CERTAIN CANCERS ARE OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES FOR FIREFIGHTERS EMPLOYED BY UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT ARE COVERED BY THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT.
Amends GS 97-53, which enumerates occupational diseases under the Workers' Compensation Act, Article 1. Makes organizational and clarifying changes to the current provisions. Adds a new subsection, establishing that any condition or impairment caused by the following cancers are occupational diseases of firefighters under the Article: esophageal, intestinal, rectal, testicular, brain, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, mesothelioma, and oral cavity.
Applicable to units of local government only, enacts GS 97-53.1, establishing a presumption of eligibility for firefighters for compensation for occupational disease under the Workers' Compensation Act, so long as either: (1) the firefighter was required to submit to a physical upon entering the service; the exam failed to reveal any evidence of a firefighter occupational disease, as defined; and the firefighter has completed five years of service for the unit or (2) the firefighter was not required to submit to a physical upon entering the service, and at the time of disability by an occupational disease, as defined, the firefighter has completed five years of continuous service immediately preceding January 1, 2017, for the unit. Places the burden of rebuttal on the unit of local government, to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the condition was caused by some means other than the firefighter's occupation. Sets forth legislative findings and intent, and defines disability and firefighter.
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