Nebraska Lawmakers Debate Workers' Comp Coverage for Mental Trauma


 
 

Martha Stoddard | | Friday, April 4, 2008


OMAHA, Neb. -- Should the store clerk who sees a co-worker assassinated before her eyes be able to get workers' compensation benefits to help deal with resulting mental trauma?

What about the police officer who responds to an especially horrific accident?

Nebraska lawmakers debated those questions Wednesday without reaching a resolution. They are expected to resume the debate next week.

State Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue thinks the answer to those questions should be yes.

She is the main sponsor of Legislative Bill 1082, which would allow workers' compensation for employees who witness, or are the victims of, violent crimes on the job.

The bill also would allow workers' compensation for firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first-responders who encounter "extraordinary and unusual" conditions on the job.

"The basic premise of my bill is that mental injuries are real and can be every bit as painful as physical injuries," Cornett said. "It will not apply to a large number of cases, but for the cases where it will apply, it could literally be a lifesaver."

A number of senators questioned whether employers should have to pay for the suffering caused by crime.

Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha said the bill could dramatically expand workers' compensation, with unknown effects on its costs. He said it could apply to all the people who were at work and witnessed the 9/11 attacks, for example.

Under current Nebraska law, workers' compensation covers physical injuries and accompanying mental trauma. It does not cover mental trauma by itself.

At least 30 other states provide some coverage for mental trauma, Cornett said. LB 1082 would provide very limited coverage in comparison, she said.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Operations and Protcols, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >