STAND. COM. REP. NO.206-02

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2002

RE: H.B. No. 2076

H.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say

Speaker, House of Representatives

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2002

State of Hawaii

Sir:

Your Committee on Labor and Public Employment, to which was referred H.B. No. 2076 entitled:

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION,"

begs leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this bill, as received, is to allow an injured employee to receive temporary partial disability benefits for the time spent seeing their physician for medical treatment of an industrial injury.

ILWU Local 142 and the Hawaii State AFL-CIO testified in support of this bill. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) and the Hawaii Insurers Council had some concerns regarding this measure but supported its intent. The Department of Human Resources Development, the Building Industry Association, and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii testified in opposition of this measure.

Temporary partial disability benefits are supposed to cover workers suffering from an industrial injury when a disability diminishes an employee's capacity to work. If an individual requires follow-up care for further rehabilitation of an injury even after returning to work following a period of temporary partial disability, these medical appointments are not covered. As a result, employees may either suffer loss of pay to obtain treatment, or the employee may forego treatment altogether.

However, your Committee understands concerns that this bill, as received, could result in the abuse of the workers' compensation system. Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by deleting its contents and instead specifying that an employee who is not currently receiving temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits, but who from time to time requires treatment prescribed by a physician for a work injury and who cannot reasonably obtain such treatment during nonworking hours, will be entitled to temporary partial disability for time spent obtaining treatment and traveling directly to and from their place of employment to treatment.

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor and Public Employment that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2076, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2076, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor and Public Employment,

 

____________________________

SCOTT SAIKI, Chair