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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

ORS 404.215

Summary Title

Workers’ Compensation: Search and Rescue Volunteer

Summary

A search and rescue volunteer who participates in search and rescue activities under the direction of a sheriff is entitled to workers’ compensation.

Full Title

Workers’ compensation coverage

Full Text

(1) A county is conclusively deemed to have filed an election under ORS 656.031 to provide workers’ compensation coverage for qualified search and rescue volunteers who: (a)Perform search and rescue activities under the direction of the sheriff of the county or the designee of the sheriff; or (b) Are sent by the sheriff of the county or the designee of the sheriff to perform search and rescue activities under the direction of the sheriff of another county or the designee of the sheriff of the other county. (2) When a qualified search and rescue volunteer offers to perform search and rescue activities in a county in which the volunteer is not registered and the volunteer was not sent to the county by the sheriff, or the designee of the sheriff, of a county in which the volunteer is registered, the county in which the volunteer performs search and rescue activities is conclusively deemed to have filed an election under ORS 656.031 to provide workers’ compensation coverage for the volunteer if the sheriff or the designee of the sheriff acknowledges the volunteer’s qualifications at the scene. (3) An insurer or self-insured employer may fix assumed wage rates for qualified search and rescue volunteers, which may be used only for purposes of computations under ORS chapter 656, and shall require the regular payment of premiums or assessments based on the hours of service by qualified search and rescue volunteers. A self-insured employer shall submit the assumed wage rates to the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. If the director finds that the rates are unreasonable, the director may fix appropriate rates to be used for purposes of this section. (4) A county that is a self-insured employer under ORS chapter 656 may apply to an insurer for workers’ compensation coverage for qualified search and rescue volunteers only, while continuing to self-insure the other subject workers of the county. If an insurer decides not to provide workers’ compensation coverage for qualified search and rescue volunteers of the county, coverage shall be provided through the assigned risk pool. (5) Qualified search and rescue volunteers and their beneficiaries are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under this section if the volunteer is performing search and rescue activities during an emergency and is provided with workers’ compensation coverage under ORS 401.368.