House Passes Workers’ Comp Catch-All Bill

The Ohio House of Representatives this week passed House Bill 81, which has evolved into a much larger workers’ compensation bill than originally intended.

As introduced, the bill would have extended workers’ compensation benefits for medical testing of detention center employees exposed to bodily fluids. The House expanded HB 81 to include a variety of other provisions, including language to codify the state’s voluntary abandonment doctrine and reduce the statute of limitations for violations of specific safety requirements. Other provisions address final settlement agreements and continuing jurisdiction over workers’ comp claims.

The OMA and its business allies were able to ensure the bill did not include language to expand the workers’ comp system to allow for mental-only claims. Also kept out was controversial language regarding the misclassification of employees. The Senate is expected to pick up debate on the proposal in the new year. 11/20/2019