House Passes Workers’ Comp Budget with PTSD Expansion

Despite objections raised by business organizations – including the OMA – the House on June 5 passed its version of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget under House Bill 80. As passed by the House, the measure would make several changes to Ohio’s BWC law that would negatively affect the business climate, including expanding workers’ comp benefits for mental or emotional impairment caused by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for first responders, even when there is no physical injury.

HB 80 would create a fundamental shift in Ohio’s workers’ compensation law, which currently requires a physical injury before allowing any mental health claims. Most troubling, it would establish a precedent for future workers’ comp expansion that affects private employers. If this happened, workers’ compensation premiums for Ohio manufacturers would increase dramatically.

Among HB 80’s other changes that would be detrimental to the business community are:

Earlier this week, the OMA provided opponent testimony on the bill, and sent a key vote alert to all House members, urging a “no” vote. Now, following its passage in the House, HB 80 will be considered in the Senate. The bill is required to be passed and signed by the governor prior to July 1.

The OMA will continue to advocate for the removal of these harmful provisions in the upper chamber. Members should reach out to their state senator, urging him/her to oppose HB 80 as passed by the House. 6/6/2019