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Virginia lawmakers may consider whether to expand the list of cancers that could be acquired by first responders and presumed compensable under the state’s workers compensation statutes.
S.B. 58, prefiled Tuesday by Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, adds colon, brain and testicular cancers to the list of seven cancers currently presumed to be occupational diseases covered by the Virginia Workers Compensation Act when firefighters or certain first responders develop them. The legislation also removes requirement that the employee who develops the cancer had to have had contact with a toxic substance in the line of duty for the disease to be compensable.
Currently, volunteer or salaried firefighters, Department of Emergency Management hazardous materials officers, commercial vehicle enforcement officers or motor carrier safety troopers employed by the Department of State Police, or full-time sworn members of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles who have served at least 12 years of service who develop one of the listed cancers may be covered by workers compensation under the presumption legislation “unless such presumption is overcome by a preponderance of competent evidence to the contrary.”
The legislation has been referred to the Virginia Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.
Lawmakers in Virginia on Wednesday introduced a workers compensation presumption bill that would add corrections officers and workers in the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles to those eligible for coverage of cancer, respiratory disease, hypertension and heart disease.