7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill establishes a working group to study a first responder's workers' compensation
10 claim due to mental stress.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ defines "first responder"; and
14 ▸ establishes a temporary working group to study a first responder's workers'
15 compensation claim due to mental stress.
16 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
18 Other Special Clauses:
20 Utah Code Sections Affected:
22 34A-2-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 363
23 63I-2-234, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 116
25 34A-2-107.2, Utah Code Annotated 1953
27 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
28 Section 1. Section 34A-2-102 is amended to read:
29 34A-2-102. Definition of terms.
30 (1) As used in this chapter:
31 (a) "Average weekly wages" means the average weekly wages as determined under
32 Section 34A-2-409.
33 (b) "Award" means a final order of the commission as to the amount of compensation
35 (i) an injured employee; or
36 (ii) a dependent of a deceased employee.
37 (c) "Compensation" means the payments and benefits provided for in this chapter or
38 Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act.
39 (d) (i) "Decision" means a ruling of:
40 (A) an administrative law judge; or
41 (B) in accordance with Section 34A-2-801:
42 (I) the commissioner; or
43 (II) the Appeals Board.
44 (ii) "Decision" includes:
45 (A) an award or denial of a medical, disability, death, or other related benefit under this
46 chapter or Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act; or
47 (B) another adjudicative ruling in accordance with this chapter or Chapter 3, Utah
48 Occupational Disease Act.
49 (e) "Director" means the director of the division, unless the context requires otherwise.
50 (f) "Disability" means an administrative determination that may result in an entitlement
51 to compensation as a consequence of becoming medically impaired as to function. Disability
52 can be total or partial, temporary or permanent, industrial or nonindustrial.
53 (g) "Division" means the Division of Industrial Accidents.
54 (h) "First responder" means:
55 (i) a law enforcement officer, as defined in Section 53-13-103;
56 (ii) an emergency medical technician, as defined in Section 26-8c-102;
57 (iii) an advanced emergency medical technician, as defined in Section 26-8c-102;
58 (iv) a paramedic, as defined in Section 26-8c-102;
59 (v) a firefighter, as defined in Section 34A-3-113; or
60 (vi) a dispatcher, as defined in Section 53-6-102.
62 functional abnormality or loss. Impairment may be either temporary or permanent, industrial
63 or nonindustrial.
65 duties, privileges, immunities, or other interests of one or more specific persons, but not a class
66 of persons.
68 employment" includes an injury caused by the willful act of a third person directed against an
69 employee because of the employee's employment.
70 (ii) "Personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment" does
71 not include a disease, except as the disease results from the injury.
73 means the freedom from danger to the life or health of employees reasonably permitted by the
74 nature of the employment.
75 (2) As used in this chapter and Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act:
76 (a) "Brother or sister" includes a half brother or sister.
77 (b) "Child" includes:
78 (i) a posthumous child; or
79 (ii) a child legally adopted prior to an injury.
80 Section 2. Section 34A-2-107.2 is enacted to read:
81 34A-2-107.2. Mental Health Protections for First Responders Workgroup.
82 (1) There is created the Mental Health Protections for First Responders Workgroup
83 within the commission consisting of the following members:
84 (a) the commissioner or the commissioner's designee;
85 (b) one member of the Senate, appointed by the president of the Senate, and one
86 member of the House, appointed by the speaker of the House;
87 (c) three representatives of the workers' compensation insurance industry appointed by
88 the chair, one of whom is a voting member of the employer side of the Workers' Compensation
89 Advisory Council, as follows:
90 (i) one member representing the insurance carrier designated to write coverage for the
91 residual market;
92 (ii) one member representing an insurance carrier other than the carrier described in
93 Subsection (1)(c)(i); and
94 (iii) one member representing self-insured employers;
95 (d) one member representing the Division of Risk Management;
96 (e) four representatives of first responders appointed by the chair, one of whom is a
97 voting member of the employee side of the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council;
98 (f) one representative from the Utah League of Cities and Towns;
99 (g) one representative from the Utah Association of Special Districts;
100 (h) the director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, or the director's
101 designee; and
102 (i) as appointed by the chair, one or more individuals with expertise in mental stress or
103 occupational medicine to serve as ex officio, nonvoting members of the workgroup.
104 (2) The commissioner or the commissioner's designee is the chair of the workgroup.
105 (3) (a) A majority of the members of the workgroup constitutes a quorum.
106 (b) The action of a majority of a quorum constitutes the action of the workgroup.
107 (4) (a) The salary and expenses of each member of the workgroup who is a legislator
108 shall be paid in accordance with Section 36-2-2 and Legislative Joint Rules, Title 5, Legislative
109 Compensation and Expenses.
110 (b) A member of the workgroup who is not a legislator may not receive compensation,
111 benefits, per diem, or travel expenses for the member's service on the workgroup.
112 (5) The commission shall provide staff support to the workgroup.
113 (6) The workgroup shall review and make recommendations on the following issues:
114 (a) the alleviation of barriers, including financial barriers, to mental health treatment
115 for first responders inside and outside of the workers' compensation system;
116 (b) statutory requirements for compensability of mental stress claims from first
117 responders under Chapter 2, Workers' Compensation Act, and Chapter 3, Utah Occupational
118 Disease Act;
119 (c) improving a first responder's accessibility to mental health treatment; and
120 (d) any additional issue that the workgroup:
121 (i) determines is an important issue related to workers' compensation for first
122 responders; and
123 (ii) decides to review.
124 (7) The workgroup shall present a final report on the items described in Subsection (6),
125 including any legislative recommendations, to the Business and Labor Interim Committee on or
126 before September 30, 2019.
127 Section 3. Section 63I-2-234 is amended to read:
128 63I-2-234. Repeal dates -- Title 34A.
129 (1) Section 34A-2-107.1 is repealed November 30, 2017.
130 (2) Section 34A-2-107.2 is repealed January 1, 2020.