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Stay informed with OAJ's bimonthly e-newsletter containing information from the Ohio Statehouse, OAJ head quarters and newspapers from around the state. Look for the newsletter in your inbox on Thursday mornings every other week.

Illegal immigrants denied workers’ comp 
Several changes were made to the BWC budget bill before it passed the House.  Illegal aliens would be prohibited from receiving workers comp benefits and a rebuttal to the new fire-fighter cancer presumption was added.  The bill includes several positive amendments that OAJ proposed, but it also contains the reduction in the statute of limitations from two years to one that OAJ opposes.  HB 28 has been referred to the Senate Transportation, Commerce & Labor Committee.

Click here to link to HB 27 – as passed by the House

IC budget bill in Senate committee
The Industrial Commission budget bill, which previously passed the House, has been sent to the Senate Transportation, Commerce & Labor Committee.  This bill does not contain substantive law changes.  As OAJ reported previously, an amendment that would require the Commission to maintain “scorecards” on hearing officer decisions was stopped.  

Click here to link to HB 28 

Discrimination protection legislation awaits House vote
There is an agreement on HB 2, legislation amending Ohio’s laws protecting employees from discrimination and harassment in the workplace.  Fred Gittes, a well-known civil rights attorney who has led the opposition to this legislation for almost two decades, negotiated the bill with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.   Fred is pleased to say that the bill does not harm your ability to bring a successful discrimination claim.  The Ohio Employment Lawyers Association and the OAJ are now neutral on the agreed-upon legislation.  The bill awaits a vote of the full House.

Click here to link to Sub HB 2

Click here to link to the Overview of Sub HB 2 as passed by House committee 5.10.2017

Structured settlements legislation introduced
Legislation amending the Ohio Structured Settlement Protection Act to regulate transfers of payment rights was just introduced in both the Ohio House and Senate.  This legislation was negotiated between the National Structured Settlement Trade Association and the National Association of Settlement Purchasers with OAJ’s input.   The bills await referral to committees.

Click here to link to SB 152

Click here to link to HB 223

Oklahoma scrambles to undo “loser pays”
In legislation intended to extend the time that child sex abuse victims can sue their abusers, the Oklahoma legislature enacted a “loser pays” provision that says the losing party pays legal fees for the winning party in all forms of civil and criminal litigation.  The bill’s author says this was a mistake and that the OK legislature will correct it.

Click here to read: State Accidentally Abolishes ‘American Rule’ For Attorneys’ Fees


No solicitations from crash reports
Legislation has just been introduced in the Ohio Senate that requires law enforcement to record on a crash report whether a person involved in the crash wants to be contacted for commercial solicitation.  OAJ is analyzing and gathering information so that OAJ leadership can make an informed decision about OAJ’s policy position on the bill.  The bill has been sent to the Senate Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee chaired by Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland).

Click here to link to SB 148

More changes to BWC budget bill
The House Insurance Committee adopted more changes to the BWC biennial budget bill. The positive amendments that OAJ previously proposed remain, and so does the reduction to the statute of limitations for physical injuries from two years to one that OAJ opposes.  Added to the bill were provisions: a) declaring “unauthorized aliens” ineligible for workers’ comp and unable to file a negligence claim unless the worker can prove the employer knew they were unauthorized, and b) making firefighters ineligible for the new statutory cancer presumption if the firefighter failed to use or improperly used protective equipment.  The bill remains in the House Insurance Committee.

Click here to link to Sub HB 27 – LSC 132 0003-5

IC budget bill passes House
The Ohio House passed the Industrial Commission budget bill.  As reported previously, the amendment requiring the Commission to maintain “scorecards” on hearing officer decisions was NOT added to the bill.  The IC budget bill now goes to the Ohio Senate.  

Click here to link to HB 28 

2017 Annual Convention
Thank you to all who attended this year's Annual Convention! We hope you had a great time and we hope to see you again next year. Keep an eye out in early June for a special Quarterly with Convention photos.