In a 74-22 vote, the Ohio House passed a bill last week which provides first responders with post traumatic stress disorder coverage through the state's workers' compensation system. This same bill passed the Ohio House last year by the substantially smaller margin of 56-33.
The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate. Unfortunately for first responders, last year the Ohio Senate failed to pass the bill and killed the House's bill once it reached conference committee. Experts are more optimistic this year as Senate President Larry Obhof has voiced his support for the bill. Governor DeWine has also vocalized his support for the bill.
Those who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder have difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms might include nightmares, anxiety or depression. Suicidal thoughts or actions also are possible. Workers' compensation in Ohio currently only covers psychological injuries or diseases that can be proven to stem from a physical injury suffered while at work. The current law leaves hundreds of first responders suffering without coverage, include several Hurm Law Firm clients.
If you support your first responders, please contact your Ohio State Senator and let them know. If you don't know your state senate district, click here to find out. Then call your state senator and voice your support for House Bill 308.
Matthew T. Hurm, Esq.
Matthew T. Hurm, Esq. has represented employees, their unions, and fringe benefit funds since 2010. He has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. He works primarily on labor and employment, workers' compensation, pension and healthcare, and estate planning legal matters. Matt serves as a contributing editor to the leading labor law treatise, The Developing Labor Law and other significant legal references. He graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and has resided in Cleveland for seven years.