Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 816
       By Senator Torres
       15-01180-20                                            2020816__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to workers’ compensation benefits for
    3         correctional officers; creating s. 112.1817, F.S.;
    4         providing definitions; providing that, under certain
    5         circumstances, posttraumatic stress disorder suffered
    6         by a correctional officer is an occupational disease
    7         compensable by workers’ compensation benefits;
    8         specifying that certain benefits do not require a
    9         physical injury and are not subject to certain
   10         apportionment or limitations; providing a time for
   11         notice of injury or death; requiring the Department of
   12         Financial Services to adopt certain rules; requiring
   13         an employing agency to provide specified mental health
   14         training; providing a declaration of important state
   15         interest; providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Section 112.1817, Florida Statutes, is created
   20  to read:
   21         112.1817Correctional officers; special provision for
   22  posttraumatic stress disorder.—
   23         (1)As used in this section, the term:
   24         (a)“Correctional officer” includes correctional officers
   25  and correctional probation officers as those terms are defined
   26  in s. 943.10(2) and (3), respectively.
   27         (b)“Directly witnessing” means to see or hear for oneself.
   28         (2)For the purposes of chapter 440 and notwithstanding ss.
   29  440.093 and 440.151(2), posttraumatic stress disorder, as
   30  described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
   31  Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric
   32  Association, suffered by a correctional officer is a compensable
   33  occupational disease within the meaning of s. 440.151 if:
   34         (a)The correctional officer was discharging his or her
   35  primary work responsibilities in a place and under circumstances
   36  reasonably consistent with those responsibilities and was
   37  covered by the employer’s workers’ compensation coverage;
   38         (b)The correctional officer is examined and subsequently
   39  diagnosed with such disorder by a licensed psychiatrist who is
   40  an authorized treating physician as provided in chapter 440 due
   41  to one of the following events:
   42         1.Seeing for oneself a deceased minor;
   43         2.Directly witnessing the death of a minor;
   44         3.Directly witnessing, or participating in the physical
   45  treatment of, an injury to a minor who subsequently died before
   46  or upon arrival at a hospital emergency department;
   47         4.Seeing for oneself a decedent whose death involved
   48  grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the conscience;
   49         5.Directly witnessing a death, including homicide or
   50  suicide, which involved grievous bodily harm of a nature that
   51  shocks the conscience; or
   52         6.Directly witnessing, or participating in the physical
   53  treatment of, an injury, including an attempted suicide, to a
   54  person who subsequently died before or upon arrival at a
   55  hospital emergency department if the person was injured by
   56  grievous bodily harm of a nature that shocks the conscience; and
   57         (c)Such disorder is demonstrated by clear and convincing
   58  medical evidence.
   59         (3)Benefits for a correctional officer under this section:
   60         (a)Do not require a physical injury to the correctional
   61  officer; and
   62         (b)Are not subject to:
   63         1.Apportionment due to a preexisting posttraumatic stress
   64  disorder;
   65         2.Any limitation on temporary benefits under s. 440.093;
   66  or
   67         3.The 1-percent limitation on permanent psychiatric
   68  impairment benefits under s. 440.15(3).
   69         (4)The time for notice of injury or death in cases of
   70  compensable posttraumatic stress disorder under this section is
   71  the same as in s. 440.151(6) and is measured from one of the
   72  qualifying events listed in paragraph (2)(b) or the
   73  manifestation of the disorder, whichever occurs later. A claim
   74  under this section must be properly noticed within 52 weeks
   75  after the qualifying event.
   76         (5)The Department of Financial Services shall adopt rules
   77  specifying injuries qualifying as grievous bodily harm of a
   78  nature that shocks the conscience for purposes of this section.
   79         (6)An employing agency of a correctional officer must
   80  provide educational training related to mental health awareness,
   81  prevention, mitigation, and treatment.
   82         Section 2. The Legislature determines and declares that
   83  this act fulfills an important state interest.
   84         Section 3. This act shall take effect October 1, 2020.