Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2612
By: Hochberg
Business & Industry


Currently, if an employee with more than one job is injured on one of the
jobs, the employee only receives workers' compensation for the job where
the employee was injured. However, the injury may prevent the employee from
working at another part-time job as well. House Bill 2612 changes the
income benefits calculation for an injured worker with multiple employment
to equal the average weekly wage the employee earned or would have earned
from working multiple jobs.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Workers' Compensation
Commission in SECTION 1 (Section 408.042, Labor Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 2612 amends the Labor Code relating to workers' compensation for
persons with multiple employment.  The bill provides that the average
weekly wage for eligible employees for determining impairment income
benefits, supplemental income benefits, lifetime income benefits, and death
benefits is the average weekly wage that the employee has earned or would
have earned in the 13 weeks immediately preceding the injury.  If the Texas
Workers' Compensation Commission (commission) determines that computing the
average weekly wage in this manner is impractical or  unreasonable, the
bill requires the commission to set the average weekly wage in a manner
that more fairly reflects the employee's average weekly wage and is fair
and just as defined by rule by the commission to both parties or is in the
manner agreed to by the parties. 

The bill provides that an insurance carrier is entitled to apply for and to
receive reimbursement at least annually from the subsequent injury fund for
the amount of income benefits paid to a worker that are based on
nonsubscriber employment.  The bill authorizes the commission to adopt
rules to govern the documentation and application process, and provides
that the subsequent injury fund is liable for reimbursement of these
claims.  The bill provides that the subsequent injury fund is liable for
the reimbursement of insurance carrier claims of overpayment of benefits
based on interlocutory orders of the commission.  The bill requires the
commission's actuary or financial advisor to report biannually to the
Research and Oversight Council on Workers' Compensation on the financial
condition and projected assets and liabilities of the subsequent injury
fund and requires the commission to make these reports available to members
of the legislature and the public. 


September 1, 2001.