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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.67

Introduced by Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans District, Senator Campbell of Windsor District, Senator Sears of Bennington District, Senator Hartwell of Bennington District and Senator Shumlin of Windham District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Bennington state office building; workers’ compensation

Statement of purpose:  This bill would require closure of the Bennington state office building after April 1, 2007, and provide eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits for employees working at that building prior to January 1, 2007.

AN ACT RELATING TO CLOSURE OF THE BENNINGTON STATE OFFICE BUILDING

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  WORKERS’ COMPENSATION; PRESUMPTION OF
 COMPENSABILITY; STATE EMPLOYEES; BENNINGTON
 STATE OFFICE BUILDING 

Any state employee who has been working at the Bennington state office building for at least six consecutive months prior to January 1, 2007, and who is diagnosed with sarcoidosis or other pulmonary disease or injury that is usually caused by poor indoor air quality that contains airborne pathogens, particulates, or mold, shall be presumed to have suffered a work illness, injury, or disease caused by exposure to the air quality of the work environment, unless it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the illness, injury, or disease was caused by nonwork‑related risk factors or exposure.  Under this section, an eligible state employee shall be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits beginning the first day that the employee was or is so diagnosed, and those benefits shall continue as they would for any other accepted claim until otherwise ordered by the commissioner of the department of labor.

Sec. 2.  BENNINGTON STATE OFFICE BUILDING; CLOSURE

No state employee with a workplace in the Bennington state office building shall be permitted to work in that building after April 1, 2007, until such time as the air quality and health conditions of the building have been determined by VOSHA to be safe and free from dangerous airborne pathogens, particulates, mold, and other environmental contaminants.  This prohibition shall not apply to employees who are properly equipped to work in the building to undertake rehabilitation and reconstruction work as necessary to make the building habitable as an office.  If the commissioner of buildings and general services has not provided by April 1 another safe and healthy work environment for state employees, whether in modular office space or other alternative office space, the employees working in the Bennington state office building shall be permitted to work at home until such time as an office work environment is provided which is approved by VOSHA.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us