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A bill introduced in the Connecticut legislature Thursday proposes to expand the reach of the state’s first responder post-traumatic stress disorder presumption law.
S.B. 231 would provide for workers compensation benefits for certain mental or emotional impairments determined to be job-related to corrections professionals and telecommunications personnel, as well as firefighters, emergency service personnel, law enforcement and parole officers.
The legislation would classify corrections employees and telecommunications dispatchers who “witness” a qualifying event by phone or radio and suffer from a mental or emotional impairment as a result as employees eligible for workers compensation. Qualifying events are listed as those that occurred on or after July 1, 2019, in the line of duty in which the individual saw a deceased minor, witnessed the death of a person or injury to a person who subsequently dies before or upon admission to a hospital, or witnesses a traumatic physical injury that results in the loss of a vital body part or permanent disfigurement.
If signed into law, the legislation would take effect July 1, 2020.
The Connecticut House also introduced H.B. 5268, which would require the state’s Workers Compensation Commission to adopt regulations regarding fair compensation of injured workers. No further details of the proposal have been published, and the bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees.
Lawmakers in Alabama are among the latest to propose amending workers compensation code to allow benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders.