PA 15-47—SB 988

Labor and Public Employees Committee

AN ACT UPDATING THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CLINICS STATUTES

SUMMARY: This act authorizes the labor commissioner, when awarding grants for occupational health clinics, to give priority to certain organizations providing services for working-age populations, including migrant and contingent workers. She must give priority to these clinics where work structures or workers' health disparities interfere with providing occupational health care services. Under the act, “contingent worker” means a person whose employment is temporary and sporadic and may include agricultural workers, independent contractors, or day or temporary workers. Under the act, an independent contractor means someone who is not an employee and whose compensation must be reported on an IRS Form 1099.

By law, the commissioner may award grants to occupational health clinics operated by public and nonprofit organizations.

The act also makes (1) minor changes to grant usage and to some definitions under the occupational health clinic law and (2) technical changes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

GRANT USAGE

Under the act, health clinic grants may not be used to compensate a clinic for activities that use commercial services or involve grants or contracts received from an outside party. It eliminates a ban on the use of grants to compensate a clinic for activities that could be included in a corporate medicine or employee wellness program, as defined in law.

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH CLINIC DUTIES

The act adds to clinic duties the provision of public, professional, and clinical outreach and training programs addressing occupational diseases. By law, clinics must already provide diagnosis, treatment, and preventative services for patients with occupational diseases.

OCCUPATIONAL PHYSICIAN

Under prior law, an occupational physician was a Connecticut-licensed medical doctor whom the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) found qualified to practice occupational medicine. Under the act, the occupational physician must instead be certified or found eligible for certification by the ABPM.

ABPM's website defines “eligible for board certification” as the first seven years after a physician completes an accredited residency training in a preventative medicine specialty area.

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE

The act specifies that an “occupational disease” means any disease related to, or peculiar to, an occupation. Prior law addressed diseases peculiar to an occupation. The act further specifies that occupational diseases include, but are not limited to, chronic diseases affecting organ systems, including cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.

BACKGROUND

Day or Temporary Worker

By law, “day or temporary worker” means someone who performs work for another on (1) a per diem basis, or (2) an occasional or irregular basis for only the time required to complete the work, whether the individual is paid by the person for whom the work is done or by an employment or temporary agency (CGS 31-57r).

OLR Tracking: JM; KD; PF; BS