New False Representation Defense for Employers Proceeds Through Legislature
- May 6, 2015
- 1 Comment
Legislative Bill 480, as amended, will move forward in the legislature. LB480 and its amendments create a new false representation defense for employers to use in order to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits. Specifically, the amendment to LB 480 reads as follows:
False Representation Defense
“No compensation shall be allowed if, at the time of or in the course of entering into employment or at the time of receiving notice of the removal of conditions from a conditional offer of employment: (1) The employee knowingly and willfully made a false representation as to his or her physical or medical condition by acknowledging in writing that he or she is able to perm the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation based upon the employer’s written job description; (2) the employer relied upon the false representation and the reliance was a substantial factor in the hiring; and (3) a causal connection existed between the false representation and the injury.”
Impact of False Representation Defense
The false representation defense puts workers in a tough spot when applying for a job: disclose that you have previously been injured and risk not being hired or do not disclose a previous injury and risk not receiving workers’ compensation if you get hurt. Its easy to say employees should always disclose if he or she is currently or recently had some medical condition that would prevent him or her from performing a job. However, the line is not so clear for employees who have recovered from a previous injury and believe they are able to perform the duties of the job only to be reinjured while at work. Will LB 480 prevent such an employee from recovering benefits?