Workers’ Compensation Laws Updated by Colorado Legislature

Updated: July 28th, 2022

This is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for individual legal counsel or advice on issues discussed herein. The information contained in this chart is believed to be accurate as of the time of posting. However, as this material may consist of statutes and case laws which may change from time to time, it is recommended that citations are routinely verified for accuracy. Readers seeking resolution of specific legal issues or business concerns should consult with their attorney and/or insurance representative.

Recently, new house bills related to workers’ compensation were signed by Governor Jared Polis for the state of Colorado. The Second Regular Session of the 73rd Colorado General Assembly adjourned on May 11, 2022. These bills include changes to the requirements regarding workers’ compensation injury notices, workers’ compensation updates, and protecting injured workers’ mental health records. The following bills are related to workers’ compensation and have been signed into law since the session ended.

Colorado House Bill 22-1112

On March 24, 2022, Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 22-1112. This measure makes the following changes to requirements pertaining to workers’ compensation injury notices:

  • Extends the timeline for an employee to notify their employer in writing of an on-the-job injury from four to 10 days.
  • Requires an employer who receives written notice of an injury to affix the date and time of the receipt of the notice and make a copy of the notice with the date and time of receipt available to the injured employee within seven days after receiving notice. However, an employer is not subject to penalty for failure to provide the injured employee a copy of the notice. Sedgwick claims team will automatically generate a First Report of Injury to the injured employee when they send out their introduction letter.
  • Provides that if an employer fails to provide a copy of the notice of the injury to the employee or fails to post the required notice to employees, the time period allotted to the employee is tolled for the duration of the failure.
  • Adds that if the employer already has notice of the injury or the employee shows good cause for the failure to report the injury, the employee does not lose compensation for the failure to report.
  • Changes the notice that an employer is required to post in the workplace to require that the notice state the name and contact information of the insurer and that the:
    1. Employer is responsible for payment of workers’ compensation insurance.
    2. Injured employee has rights under the law if the employer fails to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
    3. Employee should seek medical attention.
    4. Injury must be reported in writing to the employer.

Regarding occupational diseases, the bill also:

  • Repeals the requirement that an employee notify the employer of an occupational disease within 30 days of contraction of the disease, and instead requires an employee to notify the employer upon manifestation of the disease.
  • Repeals the provision that states that an employer is deemed to waive a failure to give notice of an occupational disease or death resulting from the disease unless the employer objects at a hearing on the claim prior to any award or decision.

Colorado House Bill 22-1347

On June 8, 2022, Gov. Polis signed House Bill 22-1347 that amends the Workers’ Compensation Act as follows:

  • Requires the employer or employer’s insurer to pay or deny within seven days after receipt of a claimant’s written request for advance mileage expenses for travel that is reasonably necessary and related to obtaining compensable treatment, supplies or services and requires round-trip travel greater than 100 miles.
  • If advance mileage expense payment is made and the specific travel for which payment was provided does not occur, the employer or, if insured, the employer’s insurer is entitled to a credit in the amount of the payment to be applied against liability for any future mileage expense reimbursements.
  • Clarifies how to determine the benefit amount for medical impairment when the amount payable using the schedule of injuries would be greater that the non-scheduled impairment benefits.
  • Increases the benefit payable for funeral and burial expenses from $7,500 to $12,500. Effective July 1, 2023, and each July 1 thereafter, requires the director to adjust the maximum amount payable for funeral and burial expenses.
  • Requires the employer to keep a record of all employee injuries that require active medical treatment for a period more than 180 calendar days after the date of injury was first reported to the employer and to report those claims to the Division upon the forms prescribed.
  • Defines “active medical treatment” as used in this bill.
  • This bill is effective at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the 90-day period after final adjournment of the General Assembly and applies to injuries occurring, and mileage reimbursement claims in existence, on or after the effective date.

House Bill 22-1354

On June 8, 2022, Gov. Polis signed House Bill 22-1354 that clarifies provisions in the Workers’ Compensation Act relating to the release and disclosure of mental health records pertaining to an injured employee making a claim. The bill also requires a person providing mental health services, including cognitive behavioral therapy and other treatment modalities under the workers’ compensation system to be a formally trained and licensed mental health provider.

The director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Labor and Employment is allowed to develop rules to implement this bill.

This bill became effective upon the signature of the governor and applies to claims filed on or after the effective
date of this act.

For more information or any questions you may have, please contact the CSD Pool Claims Consultant, Paula Lowder at Paula.Lowder@mcgriff.com.

 

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