The State of Washington did not violate federal law by creating a law to protect workers working on decontamination at the Hanford Nuclear Site.
I U.S. Pat. v. Washington The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Tuesday unanimously confirmed a district court ruling that a 2018 law that would require Hanford workers acquiring an occupational disease did so in the course and extent of their work. not federal law.
The US Department of Justice filed its lawsuit in December 2018, claiming that the Washington law "impossible" regulated the federal government and violated the doctrine of interstate immunity.
HB 1723, signed into law in March 201
There are about 10,000 DOE contractor workers at the Hanford plant, some of whom are carrying out decontamination operations.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington granted Washington a summary judgment in June, finding that a congressional waiver of immunity that allowed states to apply their workers' compensation laws to "all" federal projects in their state applied to Hanford. The US government appealed.
The Court of Appeal upheld the district court's decision. Although the United States claimed that H.B. In 1723, discrimination was applied only to Hanford employees who work indirectly or directly for the federal government – without any application to state or private entities performing work on or near the Hanford website – the court rejected this argument and found that the statue authorized Washington to apply its workers compile laws for federal state located in the state "without restriction."
A federal bill has also been introduced that would create an assumption about occupational disease for DOE employees working at nuclear power plants, including Hanford.
SB 4363, introduced in July by Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), would make it easier for these workers to claim workers' compensation benefits when they suffer from medical conditions as a result of exposure to toxic substances.
The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.