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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

House Passes Wasserman Schultz Longshore Harbor Workers' Compensation Clarification Act: Protecting Jobs and Keeping Workers Covered

Washington, D.C.– The Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Clarification Act, introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and passed by the House of Representatives today, reinstated congressional intent to ensure that workers in the recreational marine repair industry have adequate workers’ compensation coverage. This legislation provides a more clear definition of a recreational vessel which allows small businesses in the marine repair industry to forgo duplicative insurance policies while ensuring these small businesses, 95% of which have fewer than 10 employees, can adequately protect their employees without incurring exorbitant costs. 
In 2009, Congress passed Section 803 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which expanded an existing exception that allowed more recreational marine repair workers to receive workers’ compensation coverage under state law rather than under the Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act. This was necessary because repair workers were simply not buying the more expensive longshore policies and were thus left uncovered. Unfortunately, new regulations were issued in 2011 that adopted a definition of a recreational vessel that was far more complicated and onerous than the existing law. In doing so, this new regulatory definition ran counter to what Congress intended.
The Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Clarification Act establishes a workable definition for a recreational...
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