News Digest 2-26-2021


Montana legislators hear testimony on bill expanding workers’ compensation

Montana House Business and Labor Committee members heard testimony Wednesday on several bills that would change workers’ compensation, including one that would allow essential employees to receive benefits if they contract COVID-19. Opponents including the Montana Petroleum Association say the bill is too broad. Montana Public Radio [with audio]


Researchers say legalized cannabis could reduce workers’ comp claims

Adults between 42 and 60 years old claim up to 20 percent less in workers’ compensation benefits in states where recreational cannabis is legal, according to a new study analyzing nine years of data. The research also found the drug caused an associated decline in the rate of non-fatal work injuries. NorthJersey


Lawsuit faults steel manufacturer in welder’s cancer death

A lawsuit filed by the estate of a deceased welder at an Ohio steel plant claims the company knowingly and/or deliberately misrepresented the hazards of cancer-causing substances to which the welder was exposed, and that he wasn’t provided with proper protective equipment or training. The man developed multiple myeloma and died in late 2016. The suit names ArcelorMittal USA as well as an unidentified person believed to be the employee’s supervisor and includes claims of negligence and wrongful death. Mahoning Matters


North Dakota House passes bill banning mandatory face masks

The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed a bill that would prevent rules requiring face masks. The potential legislation comes after North Dakota’s governor imposed a statewide mask mandate in November. The bill will head next to the state senate. New York Post