2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Kirby
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 71-3-75, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, UNDER SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS IT PRESCRIBES, TO ALLOW CERTAIN EMPLOYERS POOLING THEIR LIABILITIES TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS TO POOL ANY OTHER LIABILITIES TO THEIR EMPLOYEES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 71-3-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
71-3-75. (1) Insurance of liability: An employer liable under this chapter to pay compensation shall insure payment of such compensation by a carrier authorized to insure such liability in this state unless such employer shall be exempted from doing so by the commission.
(2) Exemption from insuring: An employer desiring to be exempt from insuring its liability for compensation shall make application to the commission, showing its financial ability to pay such compensation and agreeing as a condition for the granting of the exemption to faithfully report all injuries under compensation according to law and the requirement of the commission, and to comply with the provisions of this chapter and the rules of the commission pertaining to the administration thereof; whereupon the commission by written order may make such exemption. The commission may from time to time require further statement of financial ability of such employer to pay compensation and may, upon ten (10) days' notice in writing, for financial reasons or for failure of the employer to faithfully discharge its obligations according to the agreements contained in its application for exemption, revoke the order granting such exemption, in which case such employer shall immediately insure its liability as otherwise required under this chapter. As a condition for the granting of an exemption, the commission shall have authority to require the employer to furnish such security as the commission may consider sufficient to insure payment of all claims of such employer under compensation. State agencies qualified as self-insured status shall not be required to furnish any security to insure or guarantee payment of claims or expenses and shall not be required to establish and maintain reserves for claims incurred but not reported and expenses associated therewith, as a condition for the granting or continuation of an exemption as herein provided. Where the security is in the form of a bond or other personal guaranty, the commission may, at any time either before or after the entry of an award upon at least ten (10) days' notice and opportunity to be heard, require the sureties to pay the amount of the award, the same to be enforced in like manner as the award itself may be enforced. Where an employer procures an exemption as herein provided and thereafter enters into any form of agreement for insurance coverage with an insurance company or interinsurer not licensed to operate in this state, its conduct shall automatically operate as a revocation of such exemption. An order exempting an employer from insuring its liability for compensation shall be null and void if the application contains a financial statement which is false in any material respect. The commission shall revoke the self-insurance permit if the employer is found to have directly or indirectly induced an employee to forego his right to workers' compensation benefits.
(3) Pooling of liabilities: The commission may, under such rules and regulations as it prescribes, permit two (2) or more employers engaged in a common type of business activity or pursuit, or having other reasons to associate, to enter into agreements to pool their liabilities under this section for the purpose of qualifying as group self-insurers, and, in conjunction therewith, to enter into agreements to pool any other liabilities to their employees, and each employer member of such approved group shall be classified as a self-insurer. A self-insured group under this section shall be comprised of employer members of the same bona fide trade association or trade group. Such trade association or trade group shall be domiciled in the State of Mississippi, shall have been in existence for five (5) or more consecutive years as of the date of application for an approved group and shall not be comprised solely of employer members who are affiliates of a person possessing controlling interest in such affiliates.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.