An Act To Amend the Laws Governing the Filing of Wage Statements by Employers and To Clarify the Statute of Limitations under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992
Sec. 1. 39-A MRSA §303, as amended by PL 2013, c. 63, §8, is further amended to read:
§ 303. Reports to board
When any employee has reported to an employer under this Act any injury arising out of and in the course of the employee's employment that has caused the employee to lose a day's work, or when the employer has knowledge of any such injury, the employer shall report the injury to the board within 7 days after the employer receives notice or has knowledge of the injury. An insured employer that has notice or knowledge of any such injury and fails to give timely notice to its insurer shall reimburse the insurer for any penalty that is due as a result of the late filing of the report of injury. The employer shall also report the average weekly wages or earnings of the employee, as defined in section 102, subsection 4, together with any other information required by the board, within 30 days after the employer receives notice or has knowledge of a claim for compensation under section 212, 213 or 215, unless a wage statement has previously been filed with the board. The wage statement must report the earnings or wages of the employee on a weekly basis, except that if the employee is paid on other than a weekly basis, the employer may report the earnings or wages on that basis. A copy of the wage information must be mailed to the employee. The employer shall report when the injured employee resumes the employee's employment and the amount of the employee's wages or earnings at that time. The employer shall complete a first report of injury form for any injury that has required the services of a health care provider within 7 days after the employer receives notice or has knowledge of the injury. The employer shall provide a copy of the form to the injured employee and retain a copy for the employer's records but is not obligated to submit the form to the board unless the injury later causes the employee to lose a day's work. The employer is also required to submit the form to the board if the board has finally adopted a major substantive rule pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A to require the form to be filed electronically.
Sec. 2. 39-A MRSA §306, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2011, c. 647, §18, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 39-A MRSA §306, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2001, c. 435, §1 and affected by §2, is further amended to read:
If the date of injury is prior to October 17, 1991 and an employer or insurer pays benefits under this Act, with or without prejudice, within the period provided in subsection 1, the period during which an employee or other interested party must file a petition is 10 years from the date of the most recent payment, regardless of whether the employer has filed a first report of injury.
(1) Care was provided for that injury or illness on 6 or more occasions in the 12-month period after the initial treatment; and
(2) The employer or the health care provider knew or should have known that the injury or illness was work-related.
For the purposes of this paragraph, "health care provider" has the same meaning as provided in rules of the board.
In response to the Law Court decisions in Wilson v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 2008 ME 47, 942 A. 2d 1237 and Graves v. Brockway Smith Co., 2012 ME 128, 55 A. 3d 456, this bill amends the law to effectuate results different from those reached by the Court.
Current law provides that a petition under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992 is barred unless filed within 2 years after the date of injury or the date that the employer files a required first report of injury, whichever is later. This bill specifies that this provision applies to dates of injury occurring on or after January 1, 1993.
Under current law, if an employer or insurer pays benefits under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act of 1992 within 2 years after the date of injury or the date that the employer files a required first report of injury, the period during which a petition must be filed is 6 years from the date of the most recent payment. This bill clarifies that, for dates of injury on or after October 17, 1991, this 6-year limitation applies regardless of whether the employer has filed a first report of injury. This bill also provides that for dates of injury before October 17, 1991, a 10-year limitation applies regardless of whether the employer has filed a first report of injury.