NCCI continually monitors issues that could potentially impact the workers compensation system. Here we summarize 2019 legislative trends and hot topics, and preview activity in 2020. View the
2020 Legislative Sessions: Workers Compensation Preview webinar for more information on these topics.
In 2019, NCCI tracked almost
700 state and federal workers compensation-related bills and monitored almost
280 workers compensation-related regulations. More than
100 bills were enacted, and
143 regulations were adopted.
NCCI is already monitoring more than
500 bills in 2020 and we expect that number to grow as the state legislative sessions progress. So far, the 2020 legislative trends and hot topics look very similar to 2019.
First responder legislation was the top trending issue in 2019. NCCI tracked
126 bills related to first responders. The bills addressed compensability for certain cancers and other diseases, as well as workers compensation coverage for mental injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nine states passed legislation addressing workers compensation coverage for first responders with mental-only injuries and
one state passed a bill to study the issue.
In 2020, NCCI is already monitoring
92 first responder bills. To date,
36 of those bills address mental injuries.
Reimbursement for medical marijuana in workers compensation was a hot issue in 2019. Several states considered legislation to authorize the reimbursement of medical marijuana in workers compensation.
Rhode Island passed legislation that does not prohibit reimbursement but does not require it either.
In 2020, NCCI is already tracking marijuana-related legislation in
Kentucky has proposed legislation addressing the issue of reimbursement for medical marijuana in workers compensation.
NCCI monitored more than
40 bills that either proposed implementing a single-payer health insurance system or studying the issue. Several states considered legislation that specifically referenced workers compensation or medical benefits for injured workers.
Three states—Colorado, Oregon, and
Vermont—passed legislation to study the issue. In 2020, NCCI is tracking single-payer bills in
seven states so far.
Independent Contractors/Gig Economy
Last year, NCCI monitored about
45 bills that address independent contractors and the classification of employees.
California passed AB 5, which adopted a three-part test for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors, and
Arkansas enacted legislation that codified a 20-factor test from an IRS ruling to determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors.
NCCI is currently tracking independent contractor legislation in
10 states, including
California, Illinois, Missouri, New York, and
Check out NCCI’s new
Legislative Activity online resource for an interactive map that links directly to legislative activity on state and federal websites. The page is a source for all workers compensation- related legislation from bill introduction throughout the legislative process.
You can also learn more by watching educational webinars and videos on fundamental and advanced workers comp topics in
NCCI’s Learning Center.
This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for informational purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. Use of this article for any purpose other than as set forth herein is strictly prohibited.