130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute Senate Bill Number 223)



AN ACT
To amend sections 4123.01 and 4123.32 and to enact sections 4123.026 of the Revised Code to require payment, under the Workers' Compensation Law, for the costs of conducting medical diagnostic services to investigate whether an emergency worker sustained an injury or occupational disease when coming into direct contact with the blood or other body fluid of another person and to allow for refunds of surplus premiums regardless of when premium obligations accrue.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 4123.01 and 4123.32 be amended and section 4123.026 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 4123.01.  As used in this chapter:

(A)(1) "Employee" means:

(a) Every person in the service of the state, or of any county, municipal corporation, township, or school district therein, including regular members of lawfully constituted police and fire departments of municipal corporations and townships, whether paid or volunteer, and wherever serving within the state or on temporary assignment outside thereof, and executive officers of boards of education, under any appointment or contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, including any elected official of the state, or of any county, municipal corporation, or township, or members of boards of education.

As used in division (A)(1)(a) of this section, the term "regular members of lawfully constituted police and fire departments employee" includes the following persons when the person responds responding to an inherently dangerous situation that calls for an immediate response on the part of the person, regardless of whether the person is within the limits of the jurisdiction of the person's regular employment or voluntary service when responding, on the condition that the person responds to the situation as the person otherwise would if the person were on duty in the person's jurisdiction:

(i) Off-duty peace officers. As used in division (A)(1)(a)(i) of this section, "peace officer" means a member of the organized police department of any municipal corporation, including a member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation in an adjoining state serving in Ohio under a contract pursuant to section 737.04 of the Revised Code, member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under division (D) of section 3735.31 of the Revised Code, member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under division (Y) of section 306.05 of the Revised Code, state university law enforcement officer appointed under section 3345.04 of the Revised Code, Ohio veterans' home police officer appointed under section 5907.02 of the Revised Code, police constable of any township, police officer of a township or joint township police district, state highway patrol trooper, and member of a qualified nonprofit corporation police department established pursuant to has the same meaning as in section 1702.80 2935.01 of the Revised Code.

As used in division (A)(1)(a) of this section with respect to off-duty peace officers, "jurisdiction" means the limits of the municipal corporation, township, metropolitan housing authority housing project, regional transit authority facilities or areas of a municipal corporation that have been agreed to by a regional transit authority and a municipal corporation located within its territorial jurisdiction, college, university, or Ohio veterans' home in which the peace officer is appointed, employed, or elected.

(ii) Off-duty firefighters, whether paid or volunteer, of a lawfully constituted fire department. As used in division (A)(1)(a) of this section with respect to off-duty firefighters, "jurisdiction" means the limits of the political subdivision, joint ambulance district, fire district, or joint fire district in which the firefighter is appointed or employed.

(iii) Off-duty first responders, emergency medical technicians-basic, emergency medical technicians-intermediate, or emergency medical technicians-paramedic, whether paid or volunteer, of an ambulance service organization or emergency medical service organization pursuant to Chapter 4765. of the Revised Code. As used in division (A)(1)(a) of this section with respect to off-duty first responders and emergency medical technicians, "jurisdiction" means the limits of the political subdivision or joint ambulance district in which the first responder or emergency medical technician is employed or volunteers as a first responder or emergency medical technician.

(b) Every person in the service of any person, firm, or private corporation, including any public service corporation, that (i) employs one or more persons regularly in the same business or in or about the same establishment under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, including aliens and minors, household workers who earn one hundred sixty dollars or more in cash in any calendar quarter from a single household and casual workers who earn one hundred sixty dollars or more in cash in any calendar quarter from a single employer, or (ii) is bound by any such contract of hire or by any other written contract, to pay into the state insurance fund the premiums provided by this chapter.

(c) Every person who performs labor or provides services pursuant to a construction contract, as defined in section 4123.79 of the Revised Code, if at least ten of the following criteria apply:

(i) The person is required to comply with instructions from the other contracting party regarding the manner or method of performing services;

(ii) The person is required by the other contracting party to have particular training;

(iii) The person's services are integrated into the regular functioning of the other contracting party;

(iv) The person is required to perform the work personally;

(v) The person is hired, supervised, or paid by the other contracting party;

(vi) A continuing relationship exists between the person and the other contracting party that contemplates continuing or recurring work even if the work is not full time;

(vii) The person's hours of work are established by the other contracting party;

(viii) The person is required to devote full time to the business of the other contracting party;

(ix) The person is required to perform the work on the premises of the other contracting party;

(x) The person is required to follow the order of work set by the other contracting party;

(xi) The person is required to make oral or written reports of progress to the other contracting party;

(xii) The person is paid for services on a regular basis such as hourly, weekly, or monthly;

(xiii) The person's expenses are paid for by the other contracting party;

(xiv) The person's tools and materials are furnished by the other contracting party;

(xv) The person is provided with the facilities used to perform services;

(xvi) The person does not realize a profit or suffer a loss as a result of the services provided;

(xvii) The person is not performing services for a number of employers at the same time;

(xviii) The person does not make the same services available to the general public;

(xix) The other contracting party has a right to discharge the person;

(xx) The person has the right to end the relationship with the other contracting party without incurring liability pursuant to an employment contract or agreement.

Every person in the service of any independent contractor or subcontractor who has failed to pay into the state insurance fund the amount of premium determined and fixed by the administrator of workers' compensation for the person's employment or occupation or if a self-insuring employer has failed to pay compensation and benefits directly to the employer's injured and to the dependents of the employer's killed employees as required by section 4123.35 of the Revised Code, shall be considered as the employee of the person who has entered into a contract, whether written or verbal, with such independent contractor unless such employees or their legal representatives or beneficiaries elect, after injury or death, to regard such independent contractor as the employer.

(2) "Employee" does not mean:

(a) A duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister or assistant or associate minister of a church in the exercise of ministry; or

(b) Any officer of a family farm corporation.

Any employer may elect to include as an "employee" within this chapter, any person excluded from the definition of "employee" pursuant to division (A)(2) of this section. If an employer is a partnership, sole proprietorship, or family farm corporation, such employer may elect to include as an "employee" within this chapter, any member of such partnership, the owner of the sole proprietorship, or the officers of the family farm corporation. In the event of an election, the employer shall serve upon the bureau of workers' compensation written notice naming the persons to be covered, include such employee's remuneration for premium purposes in all future payroll reports, and no person excluded from the definition of "employee" pursuant to division (A)(2) of this section, proprietor, or partner shall be deemed an employee within this division until the employer has served such notice.

For informational purposes only, the bureau shall prescribe such language as it considers appropriate, on such of its forms as it considers appropriate, to advise employers of their right to elect to include as an "employee" within this chapter a sole proprietor, any member of a partnership, the officers of a family farm corporation, or a person excluded from the definition of "employee" under division (A)(2)(a) of this section, that they should check any health and disability insurance policy, or other form of health and disability plan or contract, presently covering them, or the purchase of which they may be considering, to determine whether such policy, plan, or contract excludes benefits for illness or injury that they might have elected to have covered by workers' compensation.

(B) "Employer" means:

(1) The state, including state hospitals, each county, municipal corporation, township, school district, and hospital owned by a political subdivision or subdivisions other than the state;

(2) Every person, firm, and private corporation, including any public service corporation, that (a) has in service one or more employees regularly in the same business or in or about the same establishment under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, or (b) is bound by any such contract of hire or by any other written contract, to pay into the insurance fund the premiums provided by this chapter.

All such employers are subject to this chapter. Any member of a firm or association, who regularly performs manual labor in or about a mine, factory, or other establishment, including a household establishment, shall be considered an employee in determining whether such person, firm, or private corporation, or public service corporation, has in its service, one or more employees and the employer shall report the income derived from such labor to the bureau as part of the payroll of such employer, and such member shall thereupon be entitled to all the benefits of an employee.

(C) "Injury" includes any injury, whether caused by external accidental means or accidental in character and result, received in the course of, and arising out of, the injured employee's employment. "Injury" does not include:

(1) Psychiatric conditions except where the conditions have arisen from an injury or occupational disease;

(2) Injury or disability caused primarily by the natural deterioration of tissue, an organ, or part of the body;

(3) Injury or disability incurred in voluntary participation in an employer-sponsored recreation or fitness activity if the employee signs a waiver of the employee's right to compensation or benefits under this chapter prior to engaging in the recreation or fitness activity.

(D) "Child" includes a posthumous child and a child legally adopted prior to the injury.

(E) "Family farm corporation" means a corporation founded for the purpose of farming agricultural land in which the majority of the voting stock is held by and the majority of the stockholders are persons or the spouse of persons related to each other within the fourth degree of kinship, according to the rules of the civil law, and at least one of the related persons is residing on or actively operating the farm, and none of whose stockholders are a corporation. A family farm corporation does not cease to qualify under this division where, by reason of any devise, bequest, or the operation of the laws of descent or distribution, the ownership of shares of voting stock is transferred to another person, as long as that person is within the degree of kinship stipulated in this division.

(F) "Occupational disease" means a disease contracted in the course of employment, which by its causes and the characteristics of its manifestation or the condition of the employment results in a hazard which distinguishes the employment in character from employment generally, and the employment creates a risk of contracting the disease in greater degree and in a different manner from the public in general.

(G) "Self-insuring employer" means an employer who is granted the privilege of paying compensation and benefits directly under section 4123.35 of the Revised Code, including a board of county commissioners for the sole purpose of constructing a sports facility as defined in section 307.696 of the Revised Code, provided that the electors of the county in which the sports facility is to be built have approved construction of a sports facility by ballot election no later than November 6, 1997.

(H) "Public employer" means an employer as defined in division (B)(1) of this section.

Sec. 4123.026. (A) The administrator of workers' compensation, or a self-insuring public employer for the peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers employed by or volunteering for that self-insuring public employer, shall pay the costs of conducting post-exposure medical diagnostic services, consistent with the standards of medical care existing at the time of the exposure, to investigate whether an injury or occupational disease was sustained by a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical worker when coming into contact with the blood or other body fluid of another person in the course of and arising out of the peace officer's, firefighter's, or emergency medical worker's employment, or when responding to an inherently dangerous situation in the manner described in, and in accordance with the conditions specified under, division (A)(1)(a) of section 4123.01 of the Revised Code, through any of the following means:

(1) Splash or spatter in the eye or mouth, including when received in the course of conducting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation;

(2) A puncture in the skin;

(3) A cut in the skin or another opening in the skin such as an open sore, wound, lesion, abrasion, or ulcer.

(B) As used in this section:

(1) "Peace officer" has the same meaning as in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Firefighter" means a firefighter, whether paid or volunteer, of a lawfully constituted fire department.

(3) "Emergency medical worker" means a first responder, emergency medical technician-basic, emergency medical technician-intermediate, or emergency medical technician-paramedic, certified under Chapter 4765. of the Revised Code, whether paid or volunteer.

Sec. 4123.32.  The administrator of workers' compensation, with the advice and consent of the workers' compensation oversight commission, shall adopt rules with respect to the collection, maintenance, and disbursements of the state insurance fund including all of the following:

(A) A rule providing that in the event there is developed as of any given rate revision date a surplus of earned premium over all losses which, in the judgment of the administrator, is larger than is necessary adequately to safeguard the solvency of the fund, the administrator may return such excess surplus to the subscriber to the fund in either the form of cash refunds or a reduction of future premiums, regardless of when the premium obligations have accrued;

(B) A rule providing that the premium security deposit collected from any employer entitles the employer to the benefits of this chapter for the remainder of the six months and also for an additional adjustment period of two months, and, thereafter, if the employer pays the premium due at the close of any six-month period, coverage shall be extended for an additional eight-month period beginning from the end of the six-month period for which the employer pays the premium due;

(C) A rule providing for ascertaining the correctness of any employer's report of estimated or actual expenditure of wages and the determination and adjustment of proper premiums and the payment of those premiums by the employer for or during any period less than eight months and notwithstanding any payment or determination of premium made when exceptional conditions or circumstances in the judgment of the administrator justify the action;

(D) Such special rules as the administrator considers necessary to safeguard the fund and that are just in the circumstances, covering the rates to be applied where one employer takes over the occupation or industry of another or where an employer first makes application for state insurance, and the administrator may require that if any employer transfers his a business in whole or in part or otherwise reorganizes the business, the successor in interest shall assume, in proportion to the extent of the transfer, as determined by the administrator, the employer's account and shall continue the payment of all contributions due under this chapter;

(E) A rule providing for all of the following:

(1) If, within two months immediately after the expiration of the six-month period, an employer fails to file a report of the employer's actual payroll expenditures for the period, the premium found to be due from the employer for the period shall be increased in an amount equal to one per cent of the premium, but the increase shall not be less than three nor more than fifteen dollars;

(2) The premium determined by the administrator to be due from an employer shall be payable on or before the end of the coverage period established by the premium security deposit, or within the time specified by the administrator if the period for which the advance premium has been paid is less than eight months. If an employer fails to pay the premium when due, an amount equal to three per cent of the premium shall be added to the premium. If the failure to pay continues for more than one month, the premium shall be increased further in an amount equal to two per cent of the premium for each additional month or part of a month, but the total of all additional amounts shall not exceed twelve per cent of the premium. If the employer files an appropriate payroll report, within the time provided by law or within the time specified by the administrator if the period for which the employer paid an estimated premium is less than eight months, the employer shall not be in default and division (E) of section 4123.32 of the Revised Code shall not apply if the employer pays the premiums within fifteen days after being first notified by the administrator of the amount due.

(3) Any deficiencies in the amounts of the premium security deposit paid by an employer for any period shall be subject to an interest charge of six per cent per annum from the date the premium obligation is incurred. In determining the interest due on deficiencies in premium security deposit payments, a charge in each case shall be made against the employer in an amount equal to interest at the rate of six per cent per annum on the premium security deposit due but remaining unpaid sixty days after notice by the administrator.

(4) Any interest charges or penalties provided for in divisions (E)(2) and (3) of this section shall be credited to the employer's account for rating purposes in the same manner as premiums.

(F) A rule providing that each employer, on the occasion of instituting coverage under this chapter, shall submit a premium security deposit. The deposit shall be calculated equivalent to thirty per cent of the semiannual premium obligation of the employer based upon the employer's estimated expenditure for wages for the ensuing six-month period plus thirty per cent of an additional adjustment period of two months but only up to a maximum of one thousand dollars and not less than ten dollars. The administrator shall review the security deposit of every employer who has submitted a deposit which is less than the one-thousand-dollar maximum. The administrator may require any such employer to submit additional money up to the maximum of one thousand dollars that, in the administrator's opinion, reflects the employer's current payroll expenditure for an eight-month period.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 4123.01 and 4123.32 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

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