The governor of Ohio has just signed a measure into law that will grant firefighters in that state the right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they are diagnosed with cancer – including mesothelioma. The measure creates a rebutable presumption that when a fire department employee is diagnosed with cancer, it stemmed from an on-the-job activity. That means it will be up to the employer to refute that presumption with solid evidence if it wants to deny the claim.
The change in state law was introduced last year, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and will simplify the process for firefighters seeking to recover their pension and workers’ compensation benefits if they receive a cancer diagnosis.
The bill was by no means a shoe-in. The bill, S.B. 27, passed only after the fourth time it was introduced for consideration by state lawmakers. The bill is named after a fire department captain in Northeast Ohio who developed brain cancer in two years ago, and had to struggle to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Continue reading