Florida Senate - 2018 CS for CS for SB 376 By the Committees on Appropriations; and Banking and Insurance; and Senators Book, Young, Taddeo, Montford, Stewart, Rader, and Campbell 576-03834-18 2018376c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to workers’ compensation benefits for 3 first responders; amending s. 112.1815, F.S.; 4 providing that, under certain circumstances, 5 posttraumatic stress disorder suffered by a first 6 responder is an occupational disease compensable by 7 workers’ compensation benefits; specifying the 8 evidentiary standard for demonstrating such disorder; 9 specifying that benefits do not require a physical 10 injury and are not subject to certain apportionment or 11 limitations; providing a time for notice of injury or 12 death; providing definitions; requiring the Department 13 of Financial Services to adopt certain rules; 14 requiring an employing agency to provide specified 15 mental health training; providing a declaration of 16 important state interest; providing an effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Subsections (5) and (6) are added to section 21 112.1815, Florida Statutes, to read: 22 112.1815 Firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical 23 technicians, and law enforcement officers; special provisions 24 for employment-related accidents and injuries.— 25 (5)(a) For the purposes of this section and chapter 440, 26 and notwithstanding sub-subparagraph (2)(a)3. and ss. 440.093 27 and 440.151(2), posttraumatic stress disorder, as described in 28 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth 29 Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association, 30 suffered by a first responder is a compensable occupational 31 disease within the meaning of subsection (4) and s. 440.151 if: 32 1. The posttraumatic stress disorder resulted from the 33 first responder acting within the course of his or her 34 employment as provided in s. 440.091; and 35 2. The first responder is examined and subsequently 36 diagnosed with such disorder by a licensed psychiatrist who is 37 an authorized treating physician as provided in chapter 440 due 38 to one of the following events: 39 a. Seeing for oneself a deceased minor; 40 b. Directly witnessing the death of a minor; 41 c. Directly witnessing an injury to a minor who 42 subsequently died before or upon arrival at a hospital emergency 43 department; 44 d. Participating in the physical treatment of an injured 45 minor who subsequently died before or upon arrival at a hospital 46 emergency department; 47 e. Manually transporting an injured minor who subsequently 48 died before or upon arrival at a hospital emergency department; 49 f. Seeing for oneself a decedent whose death involved 50 grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the conscience; 51 g. Directly witnessing a death, including suicide, that 52 involved grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the 53 conscience; 54 h. Directly witnessing a homicide regardless of whether the 55 homicide was criminal or excusable, including murder, mass 56 killing as defined in 28 U.S.C. s. 530C, manslaughter, self 57 defense, misadventure, and negligence; 58 i. Directly witnessing an injury, including an attempted 59 suicide, to a person who subsequently died before or upon 60 arrival at a hospital emergency department if the person was 61 injured by grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the 62 conscience; 63 j. Participating in the physical treatment of an injury, 64 including an attempted suicide, to a person who subsequently 65 died before or upon arrival at a hospital emergency department 66 if the person was injured by grievous bodily harm of a nature 67 that shocks the conscience; or 68 k. Manually transporting a person who was injured, 69 including by attempted suicide, and subsequently died before or 70 upon arrival at a hospital emergency department if the person 71 was injured by grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the 72 conscience. 73 (b) Such disorder must be demonstrated by clear and 74 convincing medical evidence. 75 (c) Benefits for a first responder under this subsection: 76 1. Do not require a physical injury to the first responder; 77 and 78 2. Are not subject to: 79 a. Apportionment due to a preexisting posttraumatic stress 80 disorder; 81 b. Any limitation on temporary benefits under s. 440.093; 82 or 83 c. The 1-percent limitation on permanent psychiatric 84 impairment benefits under s. 440.15(3). 85 (d) The time for notice of injury or death in cases of 86 compensable posttraumatic stress disorder under this subsection 87 is the same as in s. 440.151(6) and is measured from one of the 88 qualifying events listed in subparagraph (a)2. or the 89 manifestation of the disorder, whichever is later. A claim under 90 this subsection must be properly noticed within 52 weeks after 91 the qualifying event. 92 (e) As used in this subsection, the term: 93 1. “Directly witnessing” means to see or hear for oneself. 94 2. “Manually transporting” means to perform physical labor 95 to move the body of a wounded person for his or her safety or 96 medical treatment. 97 3. “Minor” has the same meaning as in s. 1.01(13). 98 (f) The Department of Financial Services shall adopt rules 99 specifying injuries qualifying as grievous bodily harm of a 100 nature that shocks the conscience for the purposes of this 101 subsection. 102 (6) An employing agency of a first responder, including 103 volunteer first responders, must provide educational training 104 related to mental health awareness, prevention, mitigation, and 105 treatment. 106 Section 2. The Legislature determines and declares that 107 this act fulfills an important state interest. 108 Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2018.