by Karl Voigt
Governor Corbett today has signed a new bill, promoted by legislators in Pennsylvania maritime regions, that makes some minor changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act.
House Bill 2081 changes workers’ compensation coverage for any person engaged in maritime employment, such as longshoremen, ship repairmen, shipbuilders, ship-breakers, pleasure boat captains, stevedores, vessel repairers, harbor pilots, bridge builders and harbor workers. Prior to this legislation, maritime employers were required to maintain insurance on their employees both under state and federal policies. These policies were often redundant, as benefits were almost always paid under the federal program. However, now, only the federal coverage must be maintained by employers.
Legislators from districts surrounding the Delaware River and Lake Erie supported the legislation so as to save employers money and therefore encourage new hiring. It is hoped that the changes will save maritime employers money by not have to “double insure” their employees.
The text of the law can be found at: