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Mississippi governor signs workers compensation reform bill

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JACKSON, Miss.—Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law Monday a workers compensation reform bill that will require claimants to meet a higher burden of proof that their injuries were work-related.

S.B. 2576 requires injured workers to give their employers medical evidence of the "direct causal connection" between their jobs and their injuries or occupational diseases. The new law will take effect July 1.

The legislation also allows employers to order drug and alcohol testing for injured workers who are under "reasonable suspicion" of abusing such substances at the time of their accident. A separate clause removes a presumption that automatically allows on-the-job deaths to be deemed work-related.