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Alaska governor signs comp reform bill

Posted On: Aug. 28, 2018 1:03 PM CST

Alaska governor signs comp reform bill

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Friday signed into law a bill that aims to reduce administrative costs in the workers compensation system and provide a clear definition of independent contractor, thus helping to combat worker misclassification.

H.B. 79 also creates an interim legislative workers compensation working group tasked with reviewing the workers compensation system. 

“Injured workers and employers will both benefit from these changes to Alaska’s workers compensation system,” Gov. Walker said in a press statement. “We are cutting costs while making workers compensation work more efficiently.” 

Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas said worker misclassification is a growing problem in the state. “Providing a clear definition of independent contractor will help businesses be successful and in compliance, and will help workers clearly understand what constitutes independent contractor status,” she said in the statement.

The Alaska Truckers Association, the Alaska chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Painters Local 1959, and the Alaska Homebuilders Association all testified in support of the bipartisan legislation, according to the statement issued by the governor’s office.