Printer-friendly: Click to view
  • Summary date: May 1 2020 - View Summary

    Section 1

    Amends GS 97-53 to expand the diseases and conditions deemed to be occupational diseases treated as an injury by accident under the Workers' Compensation Act and within the scope of the same procedure, practice, compensation and other benefits for the disablement or death of an employee as such under GS 97-52.

    Adds contraction of a pandemic infection by a covered person to the diseases and conditions deemed an occupational disease, presumed to be due to exposure in the course of the covered person's employment, only rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence. Covered persons under this provision only include (1) law enforcement officers, jailers, prison guards, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics employed by a State or local government, including volunteer firefighters, (2) health care workers and (3) employees required to work during a pandemic for a business declared essential by a gubernatorial or local government order, including food service and retail. Defines pandemic to mean an outbreak of an emerging disease prevalent in the US or the whole world.

    Applies to claims for workers' compensation benefits filed on or after the date the act becomes law.

    Section 2

    Appropriates $5 million nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), Department of Administration for the 2020-21 fiscal year to settle State employee claims for under new GS 97-53(30) in the course of State employment. Requires the funds to remain available until December 31, 2020, after which the OSHR is permitted to use the funds to assist State agencies with settling outstanding workers' compensation claims. Effective July 1, 2020.

    Section 3

    Requires local government employers to credit specified employees for any sick or vacation leave taken to comply with a quarantine related to coronavirus exposure, including health care workers, law enforcement officers, jailers, prison guards, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and volunteer firefighters. 

    Applies to every local law enforcement agency, county, city and political subdivision of the State.