There is one summary for H.R.5189. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (09/14/2000)

Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act of 2000 - Authorizes the Secretary to designate additional entities as beryllium vendors for purposes of coverage under this Act if such entities engage in activities relating to the production or processing of beryllium for sale to, or use by, DOE. Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to specify the means of establishing the existence of a covered beryllium illness for purposes of this Act.

Part A: Beryllium, Silicosis, and Radiation Compensation - Determines, in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, a covered beryllium employee to have been exposed to beryllium in the performance of duties for purposes of this Act if such employee was: (1) employed at a DOE facility; or (2) present at a DOE facility, or a facility owned and operated by a beryllium vendor, because of employment by the United States, a beryllium vendor, or a contractor or subcontractor of the Department of Defense, during a period when beryllium dust, particles, or vapor may have been present at such facility.

(Sec. 6) Determines a covered employee with chronic silicosis to have been exposed to silica in the performance of duty if such employee was present during the mining of tunnels at a DOE facility for tests or experiments related to an atomic weapon.

Determines a DOE employee, contractor employee, or atomic weapons employee to have sustained a cancer in the performance of duty if such employee: (1) contracted cancer after beginning such employment; and (2) falls within certain guidelines established by the HHS Secretary which are based on radiation dosage received during such duty. Directs the HHS Secretary to: (1) establish methods for determining radiation dosage received by such employees; (2) provide to such employees an estimate of the dosage received; and (3) establish an independent review process to assess such dosage determinations and estimates.

(Sec. 7) Directs the HHS Secretary to establish an Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health to advise the Secretaries of HHS, Energy, and Labor on: (1) the development of guidelines to be used to determine exposures to covered hazards; (2) the scientific validity and quality of dosage estimates and reconstruction efforts being performed to implement employee compensation programs; and (3) other matters relating to radiation and worker health at DOE facilities.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Advisory Board, upon request, to advise the HHS Secretary whether there is a class of DOE employees who likely were exposed to radiation at a facility but for whom it is not feasible to estimate the dosage received. Allows such class of employees to be considered members of the Special Exposure Cohort if there is a reasonable likelihood that the radiation dose received may have endangered the health of members of that class.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes the Secretary to Labor to pay compensation, and furnish certain other employee services and benefits, for the disability or death of covered employees under this Act. Requires such Secretary to provide appropriate assistance for claimants, including assistance in securing medical testing and diagnostic services to establish the existence of a covered illness or cancer. Directs the Secretary of Energy to inform and assist covered employees who are potential claimants of the availability of compensation, services, and benefits under this Act.

(Sec. 10) Allows a covered employee, or a survivor of a deceased covered employee, to elect to receive compensation of $200,000 in lieu of any other compensation under this Act. Provides a conditional time limit for such election.

(Sec. 11) Outlines procedures for the submission, adjudication, and administration of claims for compensation by covered employees, with time limits. Directs the Secretary of Labor to make awards for or against such compensation. Allows for decision appeals through Energy Employees' Compensation Appeals Panels.

Part B: Exposure to Other Toxic Substances - Authorizes the Secretary of Energy, through the Director of the Office of Workers' Compensation Advocacy, to enter into agreements with the Governor of a State to provide assistance to a DOE contractor employee filing a claim under the appropriate State workers' compensation system. Outlines procedures to be undertaken by such Director in assisting with such claims, including submitting claim applications to a physicians panel for determination whether or not the illness or death arose in the course of employment by DOE and exposure to a toxic substance at a DOE facility. Requires a report from the Comptroller General to Congress on the implementation and effectiveness of this Part.

Part C: General Provisions - Provides for the tax and insurance treatment of compensation or benefits paid or received under this Act.

(Sec. 16) Requires forfeiture of benefits by individuals convicted of fraud in the application for or receipt of any benefit under this Title or any Federal or State workers' compensation law.

(Sec. 17) Provides limitations on the right to receive benefits under this Act.

(Sec. 18) Requires individuals eligible to receive compensation under both this and from a State workers' compensation system to elect which benefits to receive, unless: (1) at the time of the injury, workers' compensation coverage was secured by a policy or contract of insurance; and (2) the Secretary of Labor waives the election requirement. Requires the coordination of benefits under this Act with both Federal and State workers' compensation laws and requirements.

(Sec. 21) Prohibits dual Federal compensation for employees covered by this Act, with exceptions.

(Sec. 23) Provides for the exclusivity of remedies provided by this Act against the United States and its contractors and subcontractors, as well as against beryllium vendors and atomic weapons employers.

(Sec. 25) Provides a Federal right of subrogation when a person or entity other than the United States is also responsible under a claim.

(Sec. 26) Establishes in the Treasury the Energy Employees' Occupational Illness Compensation Fund for the payment of compensation claims under this Act.

(Sec. 28) Establishes within DOE an Office of Workers' Compensation Advocate to provide information, research reports, and studies to support the implementation of this Act.