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Substitute Senate Bill No. 347

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-216

AN ACT CONCERNING WORKERS' COMPENSATION ENFORCEMENT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 31-283a of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-265, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Workers' Compensation Commission shall provide rehabilitation programs for employees suffering compensable injuries within the provisions of this chapter, which injuries disabled them from performing their customary or most recent work. The chairman shall establish rehabilitation programs which shall best suit the needs of injured employees and shall make the programs available in convenient locations throughout the state. After consultation with the Labor Commissioner, [and upon approval of] the chairman may establish fees for the programs, so as to provide the most effective rehabilitation programs at a minimum rate. In order to carry out the provisions of this section, the chairman of the Workers' Compensation Commission shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 and, subject to the provisions of chapter 67, provide for the employment of necessary assistants. [No more than five hundred fifty thousand dollars of the funds appropriated for this purpose may be used for grants as provided in sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act and section 31-400.]

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 31-284 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Each employer who does not furnish to the chairman of the Workers' Compensation Commission satisfactory proof of his solvency and financial ability to pay directly to injured employees or other beneficiaries compensation provided by this chapter shall insure his full liability under this chapter, other than his liability for assessments pursuant to sections 31-345 and 31-354 AS AMENDED in one of the following ways: (1) By filing with the Insurance Commissioner in form acceptable to him security guaranteeing the performance of the obligations of this chapter by the employer; or (2) by insuring his full liability under this part, exclusive of any liability resulting from the terms of section 31-284b, in any stock or mutual companies or associations that are or may be authorized to take such risks in this state; or (3) by any combination of the methods provided in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection as he may choose, subject to the approval of the Insurance Commissioner. If the employer wilfully fails to conform to any provision of this subsection, he shall be [fined not more than one thousand dollars for each failure] SUBJECT TO THE PENALTIES AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTIONS (c) AND (d) OF SECTION 31-288, AS AMENDED. In case of an alleged noncompliance with the provisions of this subsection, a certificate of noncompliance under oath, by the chairman of the Workers' Compensation Commission, shall constitute prima facie evidence of noncompliance.

Sec. 3. Section 31-349a of the general statutes, as amended by section 12 of public act 95-277, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any investigator in the investigations unit of the office of the State Treasurer, when investigating Second Injury Fund claims which may violate the requirements of this chapter and when investigating compliance by employers with the provisions of section 31-284 AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THIS ACT [at the direction of the commissioner,] shall have the powers, as described in section 54-1f, of a peace officer as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3 AS AMENDED.

Sec. 4. Section 7 of public act 95-277 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Prior to issuing [any] A building permit pursuant to section 29-263 of the general statutes TO ANY PERSON OTHER THAN A SOLE PROPRIETOR OR PROPERTY OWNER UNLESS SUCH SOLE PROPRIETOR OR PROPERTY OWNER IS ACTING AS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR OR PRINCIPAL EMPLOYER, a local building official shall require proof of workers' compensation coverage for all [persons employed or] EMPLOYEES, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 31-275, WHO ARE EMPLOYED BY AN EMPLOYER, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 31-275, WHO ARE engaged to perform services on the site of the construction project for which the permit was issued [, provided the total cost of all work to be performed is one hundred thousand dollars or more. A property owner who intends to perform all of the construction work himself shall so certify, in writing, to the local building official in lieu of providing proof of workers' compensation coverage.]

(b) AS USED IN SUBSECTION (a) OF THIS SECTION, "PROOF OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE" MEANS (1) A WRITTEN CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE PROVIDED BY THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR OR PRINCIPAL EMPLOYER, (2) A CERTIFICATE FROM THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER INDICATING THAT THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR OR PRINCIPAL EMPLOYER HAS PROPERLY CHOSEN NOT TO OBTAIN WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE PURSUANT TO SECTION 31-275, OR (3) IF A PROPERTY OWNER OR SOLE PROPRIETOR INTENDS TO ACT AS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR OR PRINCIPAL EMPLOYER, A WRITTEN CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE OR A SWORN NOTARIZED AFFIDAVIT, WHICH HE SHALL PROVIDE, STATING THAT HE WILL REQUIRE PROOF OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE FOR ALL THOSE EMPLOYED ON THE JOB SITE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 568. A LOCAL BUILDING OFFICIAL SHALL REQUIRE PROOF OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE ONLY AT THE TIME OF THE GENERAL CONTRACTOR'S OR PRINCIPAL EMPLOYER'S INITIAL APPLICATION.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved June 4, 1996. Effective June 4, 1996.

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