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Calif. lawmakers pass PTSD expansion, contractor cover bills

The California Assembly on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would expand the types of first responders eligible for the presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder is work-related, while the Senate unanimously concurred in amendments to a bill that would require comp coverage for certain contractors.

S.B. 284, a carry-over bill from 2021 that spent most of the year on the inactive file and has since been amended, would add to the presumption active firefighting employees of the Department of State Hospitals, the Department of Developmental Services, the Military Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill would also cover additional peace officers, including security officers of the Department of Justice, officers of hospitals under the jurisdiction of the Department of State Hospitals or the Department of Developmental Services, public safety dispatchers, safety telecommunicators and emergency response communication employees.

Fire responders would have to have at least six months of service to be eligible for the presumption unless the claim results from “a sudden and extraordinary employment condition,” under S.B. 284, which was sent back to the Senate for consideration.

The California Senate on Tuesday also voted unanimously to pass S.B. 216, which would mandate workers comp coverage for smaller contractors, including asbestos abatement contractors; concrete contractors; heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors; and tree service contractors.

That bill was sent to the governor’s desk.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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