Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Seeks Veto of Workers’ Comp Bill

The Hawaii Legislature has passed a bill on temporary total disability benefits for workers’ compensation that the Chamber of Commerce is saying will increase business costs, because employers would not be able to cut off workers compensation payments during disputes and could not recover those payments even if they win.

House Bill 854, which is now awaiting the governor’s signature, “clarifies that temporary total disability benefits shall be terminated only upon order of the Director of Labor and Industrial Relations, or if the employee’s treating physician determines that the employee is able to resume work and the employer has made a bonafide offer of work within the employee’s medical restrictions. The bill allows the employer to request that the Director issue a credit for the amount of temporary total disability benefits paid by the employer after the date the Director notifies the employer and the employee of the date the Director has determined should have been the last date of payment,” according to the Hawaii Legislature.

“Improper termination of ongoing temporary total disability benefits is a source of much disruption and vexation to injured workers and those medical and vocational providers who seek to restore them to gainful employment,” the bill indicated.

But the state Chamber of Commerce said that not being able to suspend or recoup temporary total disability payments during or following a dispute will raise costs for affected employers.

Source: Hawaii Legislature, Chamber of Commerce