Julie Kushner

State Senator

Julie Kushner

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working Together for Progress

February 7, 2023


Tuesday, February 7, 2023



To create a rebuttable presumption that a firefighter’s diagnosis of cancer arose out of and in the course of employment for purposes of workers’ compensation


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

1 Section 1. Section 31-294j of the general statutes is repealed and the

2 following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2023):

3 (a) For the purpose of adjudication of claims for payment of benefits

4 under the provisions of this chapter, a uniformed member of a paid

5 municipal or volunteer fire department, a regular member of a paid

6 municipal police department, a constable, as defined in section 31-294i,

7 or a member of a volunteer ambulance service shall be eligible for such

8 benefits for any disease arising out of and in the course of employment,

9 including, but not limited to, hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis,

10 tuberculosis, Kahler’s Disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and prostate

11 or testicular cancer that results in death or temporary or permanent total

12 or partial disability.

13 (b) For purposes of this section, there shall be a rebuttable

14 presumption that the diagnosis of cancer of a uniformed member of a

15 paid municipal or volunteer fire department arose out of and in the

16 course of employment as a result of exposure particular to the duties

17 performed as a firefighter. Such presumption applies to any condition

18 of cancer affecting the brain, skin, skeletal system, digestive system,

19 endocrine system, respiratory system, lymphatic system, reproductive

20 system, urinary system or hematological system that results in the death

21 or temporary or permanent total or partial disability of such firefighter.

22 Such presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence

23 that:

24 (1) Upon entry into service, a physical examination of such firefighter

25 revealed evidence of the claimed cancer;

26 (2) Such firefighter failed to submit to annual physical examinations

27 subsequent to entry into service;

28 (3) Subsequent physical examinations of such firefighter revealed

29 evidence of, or a propensity for, the claimed cancer;

30 (4) Such firefighter used cigarettes, as defined in section 12-285, or

31 any other tobacco products, as defined in section 12-330a, during the

32 fifteen-year period prior to the diagnosis of the claimed cancer;

33 (5) At the time the claimed cancer is diagnosed or should have been

34 diagnosed, such firefighter was employed for less than five years as:

35 (A) An interior structural firefighter at a municipal, state or volunteer

36 fire department; or

37 (B) A local fire marshal, deputy fire marshal, fire investigator, fire

38 inspector or such other class of inspectors or investigator meeting the

39 minimum standards of qualification adopted pursuant to section 29-298;

40 (6) Such firefighter failed to used respiratory protection, as described

41 in 29 CFR 1910.134 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, or

42 other personal protective equipment, as described in 29 CFR 1910.134 of

43 the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in the course of such

44 employment; or

45 (7) Such claimed cancer is not known to result from the exposure to

46 heat, radiation or a known carcinogen as determined by the

47 International Agency for Research on Cancer or the National Toxicology

48 Program of the United States Department of Health and Human

49 Services.

50 (c) Any individual who is no longer actively employed or serving as

51 a firefighter and who would otherwise qualify for benefits under this

52 section may apply for benefits under the provisions of this chapter not

53 later than five years after the date such individual was employed or last

54 served as a firefighter.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:


Section 1 October 1, 2023 31-294j

Statement of Purpose:

To create a rebuttable presumption that a firefighter’s diagnosis of cancer arose out of and in the course of employment for purposes ofworkers’ compensation