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Washingtonhelping nuclear workers to get compensation State will defend its law

State will fight feds over Hanford worker compensation, Q13 FOX, , DECEMBER 11, 2018, BY ASSOCIATED PRESS SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Officials for the state of Washington said Tuesday they will defend a new law that helps employees of a former nuclear weapons production site win worker compensation claims, after the federal government filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee criticized the lawsuit as outrageous and “depraved.”

“The people who fought communism shouldn’t have to fight their federal government to get the health care they deserve,” said Inslee, who is weighing a run for the White House in 2020.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed the lawsuit on Monday in federal court for the Eastern District of Washington.

The Washington Legislature last spring passed a law that says some cancers and other illnesses among Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers are assumed to have been caused by chemical or radiological exposures at work, unless that presumption can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.

…….The legislation signed into law in March by Inslee was propelled through the Legislature by the concerns of sick Hanford workers frustrated by state denials of their compensation claims…..

Ferguson said he presumed the federal government was worried the new Washington law might spread to other states where federal employees were involved in dangerous work. He predicted the issue would likely be resolved at trial.

“Before this, workers had to prove that whatever illness they had was not caused by something else in their lives,” Ferguson said.

Inslee called it another attempt by the Trump administration to take health care away from people in the state.

“They want to tell workers at Hanford to go hang,” said Inslee, who used to represent the Hanford site in Congress.

Lynne Dodson of the Washington State Labor Council said the federal government should be working to improve worker safety, rather than pursuing this lawsuit.

“Donald Trump and (Energy Secretary) Rick Perry would kick these workers while they are down,” Dodson said.


December 13, 2018 - Posted by | employment, Legal, politics, USA

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