PTSD Remains a Sticking Point in Delayed BWC Budget

The legislature failed to meet Sunday’s deadline for passing a final budget measure (House Bill 80) for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). As a result, lawmakers extended the BWC’s current funding for 30 days, after the House voted to not concur with the Senate amendments to the budget legislation.

The Senate-passed version of HB 80 contained none of the controversial provisions included by the House, such as employee misclassification language, expanded workers’ comp coverage for PTSD for first responders without a qualifying physical injury, and settlement provisions that would be harmful to manufacturers. House leadership has insisted on keeping the PTSD and misclassification provisions in the bill.

OMA members should contact their state senator and state representative — urging him/her to accept the Senate version of HB 80. Including the controversial PTSD language in the bill 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 PTSD expansion to include private employers. If this happened, workers’ compensation premiums for Ohio manufacturers would increase dramatically. 7/1/2019