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Nevada Lawmakers Consider Workers Compensation Bill

PHOTO: Nevada's workers compensation system could experience some changes if state lawmakers approve a bill now under consideration. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor.
PHOTO: Nevada's workers compensation system could experience some changes if state lawmakers approve a bill now under consideration. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor.
April 9, 2015

LAS VEGAS - Lawmakers in Nevada are considering a bill that opponents say would be a blow to the state's workers compensation system.

Jason Mills, a workers compensation attorney in Las Vegas, says Assembly Bill 229 would lower the legal bar from "gross misconduct" to "misconduct" for employers to terminate employees, some of whom may have filed a workers compensation claim.

"Wear your hat wrong, tuck your uniform in sideways, late to work by 30 seconds, the boss literally doesn't like the cut of your jib, frankly anything," says Mills. "Then that misconduct termination would cut all of your short-term disability pay."

Mills says the bill also would give people 30 days, instead of the current 90 days, to file a claim for compensation with an insurer. Officials with the Nevada Legislature say AB 229 was brought forth by the Commerce and Labor Committee, which is chaired by Assemblyman Randy Kirner, a Republican from Reno.

According to Mills, the bill also would change which American Medical Association guide is used to determine settlement amounts for work-related injuries.

"These insurance folks want to rush to this guide because it results in lower impairment ratings," he says. "Which results in lower compensation awards to injured workers for their injuries."

Mills says under the new system, which would be set in place by passage of Assembly Bill 229, workers compensation settlements could be cut by up to 40 percent.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV