House Passes Workers’ Comp Expansion for PTSD Benefits

This week, on a 74-22 vote, the Ohio House passed House Bill 308, legislation that would provide first responders with workers’ compensation benefits to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even when there’s no physical injury. Under current Ohio law, only mental conditions stemming from on-the-job physical injuries/illnesses are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Due to the risk of substantial premium increases for employers, the OMA has long opposed any legislation that would permit PTSD compensation or other mental claims when there is no associated physical injury or illness. As the OMA noted in its “key vote alert” to House members, HB 308, if enacted, “will inevitably result in increased workers’ compensation costs for both public and private employers. The consequences of those cost increases will be felt across the Ohio economy and will negatively impact Ohio’s business climate.”

The bill now moves to the Senate, where Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) has already been quoted saying he supports the legislation. 2/13/2020