Here is a quick summary of a few bills that caught my eye that have been introduced in the Nebraska Legislature.
 
LB 158 (McCollister) Deny compensation under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act in situations of false representation.  No compensation shall be allowed if, at the time of or in the course of entering into employment or at the time of receiving notice of the removal of conditions from a conditional offer of employment, the employee knowingly and willfully made a false representation as to his or her physical or medical condition.
Referred to Business and Labor Committee.
 
LB 179 (Brash) Require apprentice electricians to complete continuing education.
Referred to General Affairs Committee.                                                                                
 
LB 251 (Nordquist) Adopt the Veterans Subsidized Training and Employment Act. The NE Department of Labor will provide grants to eligible businesses to subsidize, for the first one hundred eighty calendar days after a new employee is hired, part of the cost of on-the-job training and compensation. It is proposed that $2.5m dollars be set aside to fund this program. For the first thirty calendar days that a new employee is employed, 100% of the wage of such new employee, exclusive of any benefits, not to exceed twenty dollars per hour can be provided for. Then for the thirty-first through ninetieth calendar days 75% of the wage. Then for the ninety-first through one-hundred-fiftieth calendar days 50% of the wage. Then 25% of the wage is provided for in the reminder of the time up to one-hundred-eightieth calendar days.  This could fund approximately 150 new hires.
Referred to Business and Labor.
 
LB 255 (Morfeld) Provide state income tax credits for construction apprenticeships. Beginning  in 2016, a tax credit of up to two thousand dollars or fifty percent of the total wages paid to such apprentice during the taxable year, whichever is less shall be applied as a nonrefundable credit the for wages paid by the taxpayer to apprentices against their income tax imposed by the State of Nebraska.  It is limited to apprenticeships accredited by the US Bureau of Apprenticeship, plus it requires that the apprenticeship program be jointly administered by labor and management trustees.
Referred to Revenue.
 
LB 276 (Harr) Exempt certified independent contractors from the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. Independent Contractors who have no employees and who do not purchase or provide proof of an in-force Workers Compensation policy are being treated by the hiring contractor’s insurance company as if they were a direct employee of the hiring contractor when the hiring contractor’s payroll is audited after the end of the policy term. The entire amount paid to the uninsured independent contractor (usually based on 1099’s) is added to the audited payroll of the hiring contractor, resulting in unanticipated and often substantial additional Workers Compensation premiums. This bill will result in an independent contractors to either purchase insurance or file an “exemption certificate” to be conclusively presumed (that is, legally determined) to be an independent contractor in cases of injury and other liability issues. 
Referred to Business and Labor Committee.
                         
LB 556 (Kolowski) Waive workers' compensation as the exclusive remedy if an employer is willfully negligent. If the employee is found by the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court or any judge thereof to have been injured by reason of the willful negligence of the employer, the employee shall be entitled to bring an action at law for his or her damages. The filing of the workers' compensation petition shall toll the applicable limitations period for the employee's claim for damages while the determination of the employer's willful negligence is pending before the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court.
Referred to Business and Labor Committee.
 
LB 611 (Kintner) Require private employers to use the E-Verify Program. Beginning on January 1, 2016. Any private employer that violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars. A contractor shall not be held accountable under this section for the failure of a subcontractor to comply with this section unless the contractor is aware of the subcontractor's failure and knowingly overlooks such failure.
Referred to Business and Labor Committee.

The Governmental Affairs Committee will be meeting in these bill on February 3rd.  If you would like to share your thoughts on these bills with the committee please send me an e-mails to BruceK@abcnebraska.org.