LD 848
PUBLIC Law, Chapter 294

on - Session - 128th Maine Legislature
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Support Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Mandate preamble. This measure requires one or more local units of government to expand or modify activities so as to necessitate additional expenditures from local revenues but does not provide funding for at least 90% of those expenditures. Pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IX, Section 21, 2/3 of all of the members elected to each House have determined it necessary to enact this measure.

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 39-A MRSA §201, sub-§3,  as enacted by PL 1991, c. 885, Pt. A, §8 and affected by §§9 to 11, is repealed.

Sec. 2. 39-A MRSA §201, sub-§3-A  is enacted to read:

3-A Mental injury caused by mental stress.   Mental injury resulting from work-related stress does not arise out of and in the course of employment unless:
A It is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that:

(1) The work stress was extraordinary and unusual in comparison to pressures and tensions experienced by the average employee; and

(2) The work stress, and not some other source of stress, was the predominant cause of the mental injury.

The amount of work stress must be measured by objective standards and actual events rather than any misperceptions by the employee; or

B The employee is a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical services person and is diagnosed by an allopathic physician or an osteopathic physician licensed under Title 32, chapter 48 or chapter 36, respectively, with a specialization in psychiatry or a psychologist licensed under Title 32, chapter 56 as having post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted from work stress, that the work stress was extraordinary and unusual compared with that experienced by the average employee and the work stress and not some other source of stress was the predominant cause of the post-traumatic stress disorder, in which case the post-traumatic stress disorder is presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the worker's employment. This presumption may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. For purposes of this paragraph, "law enforcement officer," "firefighter" and "emergency medical services person" have the same meaning as in section 328-A, subsection 1.

By January 1, 2022, the board shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over labor matters that includes an analysis of the number of claims brought under this paragraph, the portion of those claims that resulted in a settlement or award of benefits and the effect of the provisions of this paragraph on costs to the State and its subdivisions. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Human Resources and the Department of Public Safety shall assist the board in developing the report, and the board shall seek the input of an association, the membership of which consists exclusively of counties, municipalities and other political or administrative subdivisions, in the development of the report.

This paragraph is repealed October 1, 2022.

A mental injury is not considered to arise out of and in the course of employment if it results from any disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, termination or any similar action, taken in good faith by the employer.

Effective 90 days following adjournment of the 128th Legislature, First Regular Session, unless otherwise indicated.

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