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Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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102.565 Toxic or hazardous exposure; medical examination; conditions of liability.

(1) When, as a result of exposure in the course of employment over a period of time to toxic or hazardous substances or conditions, an employee performing work that is subject to this chapter develops any clinically observable abnormality or condition that, on competent medical opinion, predisposes or renders the employee in any manner differentially susceptible to disability to such an extent that it is inadvisable for the employee to continue employment involving that exposure, is discharged from or ceases to continue the employment, and suffers wage loss by reason of that discharge from, or cessation of, employment, the department or the division may allow such sum as the department or the division considers just as compensation for that wage loss, not exceeding $13,000. If a nondisabling condition may also be caused by toxic or hazardous exposure not related to employment and if the employee has a history of that exposure, compensation as provided under this section or any other remedy for loss of earning capacity shall not be allowed. If the employee is discharged from employment prior to a finding by the department or the division that it is inadvisable for the employee to continue in that employment and if it is reasonably probable that continued exposure would result in disability, the liability of the employer who discharges the employee is primary, and the liability of the employer's insurer is secondary, under the same procedure and to the same effect as provided by s. 102.62 .

Upon application of any employer or employee the department or the division may direct any employee of the employer or an employee who, in the course of his or her employment, has been exposed to toxic or hazardous substances or conditions to submit to examination by one or more physicians appointed by the department or the division to determine whether the employee has developed any abnormality or condition under sub. (1) , and the degree of that abnormality or condition. The cost of the medical examination shall be borne by the person making application. The physician conducting the examination shall submit the results of the examination to the department or the division, which shall submit copies of the reports to the employer and employee, who shall have an opportunity to rebut the reports if a request to submit a rebuttal is made to the department or the division within 10 days after the department or the division mails the report to the parties. The department or the division shall make its findings as to whether it is inadvisable for the employee to continue in his or her employment.
If after direction by the commission, or any member of the commission, the department, the division, or an examiner, an employee refuses to submit to an examination or in any way obstructs the examination, the employee's right to compensation under this section shall be barred.
No payment shall be made to an employee under this section unless he or she shall have worked for a reasonable period of time for the employer from whom he or she claims compensation for exposing him or her to toxic or hazardous conditions.
Payment of a benefit under this section to an employee shall stop such employee from any further recovery whatsoever from any employer under this section.

History: 1977 c. 29 , 195 ; 1979 c. 278 ; 2015 a. 55 . Sub. (1) requires that an employee's termination be connected to the employment that caused the susceptibility to disease. General Castings Corp. v. Winstead, 156 Wis. 2d 752 , 457 N.W.2d 557 (Ct. App. 1990).

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