HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) today commended the House Labor and Industry Committee’s approval of House Bill 1234
, which restores the certainty of Pennsylvania’s no-fault Workers’ Compensation Act.
The bill provides a worker with 300 weeks from the diagnosis of an occupational disease with a long latency timeframe, such as asbestos-related cancers, to file their claim. This legislation also reaffirms that the Workers’ Compensation Act provides exclusive remedy for such occupational diseases.
“This bill is necessary because of a court decision, Tooey v A.K. Steel, which has workers diagnosed with latent occupational diseases being forced to bring tort action in the court system,” Turzai explained. “So, by advancing this bill, workers’ rights are restored. Those who have latent occupational diseases will be able to file claims in the workers’ compensation system, thereby making it efficient and fair to both employees and employers.”
The workers’ compensation system provides that injured workers cannot sue their employer in civil court, but they get medical and disability benefits in a no-fault system, which does not require them to prove negligence. Employers must pay workers’ compensation insurance/benefits, but they get the certainty of the exclusive remedy, which means a large civil award for a workplace injury will not bankrupt the business.
“I fully support House Bill 1234 because it addresses the needs of workers by providing prompt, certain recovery, and it protects jobs provided by our employers,” Turzai said.
House Bill 1234 will be scheduled for consideration by the full House.
Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Christine Goldbeck
717.787.7977 (office) 570.205.0736 (cell)