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S.B. 23

             1     

WORKERS COMPENSATION - EMPLOYEES

             2     
WILLFUL MISCONDUCT

             3     
2000 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Sponsor: Parley Hellewell

             6      AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR; AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATED TO EMPLOYEE
             7      MISCONDUCT AND WORKERS COMPENSATION; ADDRESSING THE APPLICATION
             8      TO STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY
             9      CLAUSE; AND MAKING TECHNICAL CHANGES.
             10      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             11      AMENDS:
             12          34A-2-302, as last amended by Chapter 187, Laws of Utah 1999
             13      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             14          Section 1. Section 34A-2-302 is amended to read:
             15           34A-2-302. Employee's willful misconduct -- Penalty.
             16          (1) For purposes of this section:
             17          (a) "controlled substance" is as defined in Section 58-37-2 ;
             18          (b) "local government employee" is as defined in Section 34-41-101 ;
             19          (c) "local governmental entity" is as defined in Section 34-41-101 ;
             20          (d) "prescription" is as defined in Section 58-37-2 ; and
             21          (e) "state institution of higher education" is as defined in Section 34-41-101 .
             22          [(1)] (2) An employee may not:
             23          (a) remove, displace, damage, destroy, or carry away any safety device or safeguard
             24      provided for use in any employment or place of employment;
             25          (b) interfere in any way with the use of a safety device or safeguard described in
             26      Subsection [(1)] (2)(a) by any other person;
             27          (c) interfere with the use of any method or process adopted for the protection of any


             28      employee in the employer's employment or place of employment; or
             29          (d) fail or neglect to follow and obey orders and to do every other thing reasonably
             30      necessary to protect the life, health, and safety of employees.
             31          [(2)] (3) Except in case of injury resulting in death:
             32          (a) compensation provided for by this chapter shall be reduced 15% when injury is caused
             33      by the willful failure of the employee:
             34          (i) to use safety devices when provided by the employer; or
             35          (ii) to obey any order or reasonable rule adopted by the employer for the safety of the
             36      employee; and
             37          (b) except when the employer permitted, encouraged, or had actual knowledge of the
             38      conduct described in Subsection [(2)] (3)(b)(i) through (iii), disability compensation may not be
             39      awarded under this chapter or Title 34A, Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act, to an
             40      employee when the major contributing cause of the employee's injury is the employee's:
             41          (i) use of [illegal substances] a controlled substance for which the employee does not have
             42      a prescription at the time of the injury;
             43          (ii) intentional abuse [of drugs] in excess of prescribed therapeutic amounts of a controlled
             44      substance for which the employee has a prescription at the time of injury; or
             45          (iii) intoxication from alcohol with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams
             46      or greater as shown by a chemical test.
             47          [(3)] (4) (a) For purposes of Subsection [(2)] (3), it is presumed that the major contributing
             48      cause of the employee's injury is the employee's conduct described in Subsections [(2)] (3)(b)(i)
             49      through (iii) if at the time of the injury, as shown by a chemical test:
             50          (i) the employee has in the employee's system:
             51          (A) any amount of [an illegal] a controlled substance or its metabolites if at the time of the
             52      injury the employee does not have a prescription for the controlled substance; or
             53          (B) [drugs] a controlled substance or its metabolites in excess of prescribed therapeutic
             54      amounts if at the time of the injury the employee has a prescription for the controlled substance;
             55      or
             56          (ii) the employee has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 grams or greater.
             57          (b) The presumption created under Subsection [(3)] (4)(a) may be rebutted by evidence
             58      showing that:


             59          (i) the chemical test creating the presumption is inaccurate because the employer failed to
             60      comply with:
             61          (A) Sections 34-38-4 through 34-38-6 ; or
             62          (B) if the employer is a local governmental entity or state institution of higher education,
             63      Section 34-41-104 and Subsection 34-41-103 (5);
             64          (ii) the employee did not engage in the conduct described in Subsections [(2)] (3)(b)(i)
             65      through (iii);
             66          (iii) the test results do not exclude the possibility of passive inhalation of marijuana
             67      because the concentration of total urinary cannabinoids is less than 50 nanograms/ml as
             68      determined by a test conducted in accordance with:
             69          (A) Sections 34-38-4 through 34-38-6 ; or
             70          (B) if the employer is a local governmental entity or state institution of higher education,
             71      Section 34-41-104 and Subsection 34-41-103 (5);
             72          [(iii)] (iv) a competent medical opinion from a physician verifies that the amount in the
             73      employee's system of the following does not support a finding that the conduct described in
             74      Subsections [(2)] (3)(b)(i) through (iii) was the major contributing cause of the employee's injury
             75      [is not supported by the amount in the employee's system of]:
             76          (A) [illegal substances] a controlled substance or its metabolites if at the time of the injury
             77      the employee does not have a prescription for the controlled substance;
             78          (B) [drugs] a controlled substance or its metabolites in excess of prescribed therapeutic
             79      amounts if at the time of the injury the employee has a prescription for the controlled substance;
             80          (C) alcohol; or
             81          (D) a combination of Subsections [(3)] (4)(b)(iii)(A) through (C); or
             82          [(iv)] (v) the conduct described in Subsections [(2)] (3)(b)(i) through (iii) was not the
             83      major contributing cause of the employee's injury.
             84          (c) (i) Except as provided in Subsections [(3)] (4)(c)(ii) and (iii), if a chemical test that
             85      creates the presumption under Subsection [(3)] (4)(a) is taken at the request of the employer, the
             86      employer shall comply with:
             87          (A) Title 34, Chapter 38, Drug and Alcohol Testing; or
             88          (B) if the employee is a local governmental employee [as defined in Section 34-41-101 ]
             89      or an employee of a state institution of higher education, Title 34, Chapter 41, Local Governmental


             90      Entity Drug-Free Workplace Policies.
             91          (ii) Notwithstanding Section 34-38-13 , the results of a test taken under Title 34, Chapter
             92      38, may be disclosed to the extent necessary to establish or rebut the presumption created under
             93      Subsection [(3)] (4)(a).
             94          (iii) Notwithstanding Section 34-41-103 , the results of a test taken under Title 34, Chapter
             95      41, may be disclosed to the extent necessary to establish or rebut the presumption created under
             96      Subsection [(3)] (4)(a).
             97          (5) If any provision of this section, or the application of any provision of this section to
             98      any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this section shall be given effect
             99      without the invalid provision or application.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-5-00 11:16 AM


A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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