STAND. COM. REP. NO.2050
RE: S.B. No. 2120
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, to which was referred S.B. No. 2120 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to enable persons who have suffered a work-related injury and who have exhausted all workers' compensation benefits to collect temporary partial disability benefits for the time spent receiving treatment for the injury.
The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, the ILWU Local 142, and the Hawaii Insurers' Council all submitted testimony that supported passage of the measure with amendments. The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii testified in opposition to the measure.
Your Committee finds that this measure addresses a real problem that faces many workers who have suffered a work-related injury – their ability to obtain medical treatment for the injury without suffering a loss in pay. Your Committee also finds that although an employee who has suffered a work-related injury may return to work or accept a new position, that employee may still require additional medical care or therapy to ensure maximum medical improvement or recovery, or to ensure that the employee's condition does not deteriorate. Your Committee further finds that in these cases, employees are not entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Your Committee believes that an employee who has suffered a work-related injury should not have to choose between obtaining treatment for a work-related injury and suffering a loss in pay.
Your Committee has amended the measure by:
(1) Removing the requirement that the injured employee exhaust all workers' compensation benefits to be eligible to receive the temporary partial disability benefits provided under this measure and requiring instead that the employee be one who has not waived any workers' compensation benefit rights; and
(2) Restricting the availability of the benefits provided under the measure to only those treatments for the work-related injury which could not be obtained outside of the employee's normal working hours.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2120, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2120, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor,
BOB NAKATA, Chair