Workers’ Compensation Efficiencies Bill Signed by Governor Walker
August 24, 2018
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 79 in Fairbanks today. The legislation makes efficiencies in Alaska’s workers’ compensation system that will reduce administrative costs. It will also help combat worker misclassification by establishing a clear statutory definition of “independent contractor.” In addition, the bill creates an interim legislative workers’ compensation working group tasked with reviewing the workers’ compensation system.
Today’s bill signing was held in conjunction with the Alaska AFL-CIO Biennial Convention. “Injured workers and employers will both benefit from these changes to Alaska’s workers’ compensation system,” said Governor Walker. “We are cutting costs while making workers’ compensation work more efficiently.”
“I’m proud Alaska is joining the many states fighting the growing problem of worker misclassification,” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “Providing a clear definition of independent contractor will help businesses be successful and in compliance, and will help workers clearly understand what constitutes independent contractor status.”
Among others, the Alaska Truckers Association, the Alaska chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, Painters Local 1959, and the Alaska Homebuilders Association all testified in support of the legislation. House Bill 79 also received broad bipartisan support from members of the Alaska House and Senate.