August 7, 2023

2023 Oregon Legislative Update – Temporary Partial Disability 4 Hour Minimum Eliminated

Senate Bill 418 was passed into law during the 2023 legislative session and signed by the Governor on June 1, 2023.  The Bill amends ORS 656.210(4) to eliminate the minimum 4-hour period of missed work for medical appointments related to a compensable injury before a claimant is entitled to TPD.  Under the new requirements, an employee is entitled to temporary disability payments for any amount of work time missed related to compensable medical services.  An employer is permitted to require a worker to confirm the period during which the worker is absent from work to receive compensable medical services.  Termination of temporary disability due under the new requirements are specifically exempted from 656.262(4)(j) which requires an employer to give notice to a claimant and claimant’s attorney before terminating temporary disability payments.

The bill contained confusing language as to the date the requirements take effect.  The bill contained an emergency clause which made the bill effective immediately upon execution by the Governor.  However, a second clause in the bill indicates that the new requirements take effect on January 1, 2024.  Based on the history of the bill amendments, legislative summaries and discussion at MLAC meetings, it is clear that the proponents of the bill and the legislative committee members intended the requirements of the bill to take effect as of January 1, 2024.  The July 2024 edition of the ORWCD newsletter contains a legislative update which makes clear that the ORWCD also expects the new requirements to take effect as of January 1, 2024.  Based on the information available, employers and third-party administrators should anticipate and prepare for the new requirements to take effect as of January 1, 2024.

If you have any questions about how the changes to ORS 656.210 may impact your business, feel free to contact one of the attorneys at Cummins, Goodman, Denley & Vickers.

©2023 Cummins, Goodman, Denley & Vickers P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Cummins, Goodman, et. al., and any recipient.  Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.

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