1997 Florida Code
Chapter 440 Workers' Compensation  
440.09   Coverage.

440.09  Coverage.--

(1)  The employer shall pay compensation or furnish benefits required by this chapter if the employee suffers an accidental injury or death arising out of work performed in the course and the scope of employment. The injury, its occupational cause, and any resulting manifestations or disability shall be established to a reasonable degree of medical certainty and by objective medical findings. Mental or nervous injuries occurring as a manifestation of an injury compensable under this section shall be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence.

(a)  This chapter does not require any compensation or benefits for any subsequent injury the employee suffers as a result of an original injury arising out of and in the course of employment unless the original injury is the major contributing cause of the subsequent injury.

(b)  If an injury arising out of and in the course of employment combines with a preexisting disease or condition to cause or prolong disability or need for treatment, the employer must pay compensation or benefits required by this chapter only to the extent that the injury arising out of and in the course of employment is and remains the major contributing cause of the disability or need for treatment.

(c)  Death resulting from an operation by a surgeon furnished by the employer for the cure of hernia as required in 1s. 440.15(6) shall for the purpose of this chapter be considered to be a death resulting from the accident causing the hernia.

(d)  If an accident happens while the employee is employed elsewhere than in this state, which would entitle the employee or his or her dependents to compensation if it had happened in this state, the employee or his or her dependents are entitled to compensation if the contract of employment was made in this state, or the employment was principally localized in this state. However, if an employee receives compensation or damages under the laws of any other state, the total compensation for the injury may not be greater than is provided in this chapter.

(2)  Benefits are not payable in respect of the disability or death of any employee covered by the Federal Employer's Liability Act, the Longshoremen's and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act, or the Jones Act.

(3)  Compensation is not payable if the injury was occasioned primarily by the intoxication of the employee; by the influence of any drugs, barbiturates, or other stimulants not prescribed by a physician; or by the willful intention of the employee to injure or kill himself, herself, or another.

(4)  An employee shall not be entitled to compensation or benefits under this chapter if any administrative hearing officer, court, or jury convened in this state determines that the employee has knowingly or intentionally engaged in any of the acts described in s. 440.105 for the purpose of securing workers' compensation benefits.

(5)  If injury is caused by the knowing refusal of the employee to use a safety appliance or observe a safety rule required by statute or lawfully adopted by the division, and brought prior to the accident to the employee's knowledge, or if injury is caused by the knowing refusal of the employee to use a safety appliance provided by the employer, the compensation as provided in this chapter shall be reduced 25 percent.

(6)  Except as provided in this chapter, a construction design professional who is retained to perform professional services on a construction project, or an employee of a construction design professional in the performance of professional services on the site of the construction project, is not liable for any injuries resulting from the employer's failure to comply with safety standards on the construction project for which compensation is recoverable under this chapter, unless responsibility for safety practices is specifically assumed by contracts. The immunity provided by this subsection to a construction design professional does not apply to the negligent preparation of design plans or specifications.


(a)  To ensure that the workplace is a drug-free environment and to deter the use of drugs and alcohol at the workplace, if the employer has reason to suspect that the injury was occasioned primarily by the intoxication of the employee or by the use of any drug, as defined in this chapter, which affected the employee to the extent that the employee's normal faculties were impaired, and the employer has not implemented a drug-free workplace pursuant to ss. 440.101 and 440.102, the employer may require the employee to submit to a test for the presence of any or all drugs or alcohol in his or her system.

(b)  If the employee has, at the time of the injury, a blood alcohol level equal to or greater than the level specified in s. 316.193, or if the employee has a positive confirmation of a drug as defined in this act, it is presumed that the injury was occasioned primarily by the intoxication of, or by the influence of the drug upon, the employee. In the absence of a drug-free workplace program, this presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence that the intoxication or influence of the drug did not contribute to the injury. Percent by weight of alcohol in the blood must be based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. If the results are positive, the testing facility must maintain the specimen for a minimum of 90 days. Blood serum may be used for testing purposes under this chapter; however, if this test is used, the presumptions under this section do not arise unless the blood alcohol level is proved to be medically and scientifically equivalent to or greater than the comparable blood alcohol level that would have been obtained if the test were based on percent by weight of alcohol in the blood. However, if, before the accident, the employer had actual knowledge of and expressly acquiesced in the employee's presence at the workplace while under the influence of such alcohol or drug, the presumptions specified in this subsection do not apply.

(c)  If the injured worker refuses to submit to a drug test, it shall be presumed in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary that the injury was occasioned primarily by the influence of drugs.

(d)  The division shall provide by rule for the authorization and regulation of drug-testing policies, procedures, and methods. Testing of injured employees shall not commence until such rules are adopted.

(8)  If, by operation of s. 440.04, benefits become payable to a professional athlete under this chapter, such benefits shall be reduced or setoff in the total amount of injury benefits or wages payable during the period of disability by the employer under a collective bargaining agreement or contract for hire.

History.--s. 9, ch. 17481, 1935; CGL 1936 Supp. 5966(9); s. 3, ch. 18413, 1937; s. 1, ch. 28236, 1953; s. 1, ch. 57-293; s. 2, ch. 73-127; s. 5, ch. 74-197; s. 3, ch. 75-209; s. 2, ch. 77-290; s. 23, ch. 78-300; s. 124, ch. 79-40; s. 21, ch. 79-312; s. 7, ch. 86-171; ss. 4, 5, 6, 43, ch. 89-289; ss. 11, 56, ch. 90-201; ss. 9, 52, ch. 91-1; ss. 5, 55, ch. 93-415; s. 101, ch. 97-103.

1Note.--Repealed by s. 3, ch. 82-237.

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