In March of 2018, the state passed a new Florida PTSD law that expands Worker’s Compensation benefits for first responders by way of Florida Statute 112.1815. Worker’s Compensation benefits provide medical care to employees hurt on the job.
It also pays a portion of an injured worker’s salary until he or she is able to go back to work. However, first responders did not qualify for salary benefits if the workplace “injury” is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). With the passage of Florida Statute 112.1815, first responders will now receive wage benefits in addition to medical benefits. The Florida PTSD Law defines who is a first responder and what is to be considered a “job related” injury, as not all traumatic experiences may be covered.
Spirit of the Florida PTSD Law
Our community’s first responders include fire-fighters, officers, and paramedics. The passage was a direct response to mental suffering that first responders experienced in the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the Parkland school shooting in South Florida, and other tragic incidents. The passage of 112.1815 will not affect most private employers.
Quick Steps to Compliance
However, private employers with government contracts should take steps to prepare for this new law.
1. First, be sure to train all managers and supervisors on the new requirements. Such training should include how to detect early symptoms of PTSD.
2. Second, advise all employees of the new benefit and how to report PTSD.
3. Third, create internal support systems for those who are affected with PTSD.
4. Lastly, determine if there are light duty jobs that injured employees can assist with through their recovery.
You can view the new Florida PTSD law in its entirety on the Official Website of the Florida Legislative at Florida Statute 112.1815.
You can also of course, reach out to us at any time to get all complications out of your way. We are ready to guide, train, and implement the new regulation along with any other HR or People Operations solutions you may need.
Remember, the deadline for compliance and implementation of the Florida PTSD law is October 1, 2018.