Effective January 1, 2019, the Minnesota Legislature has added a work-related injury presumption to the workers’ compensation statute for certain types of public employees who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The positions for which the PTSD presumption applies include: licensed police officer/deputy/Minnesota State Patrol, firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, public safety dispatcher, corrections officer, and a licensed nurse who provides emergency medical services outside of a medical facility. For the presumption to apply the employee: a) must be on active duty, b) cannot have been previously diagnosed with PTSD, and c) must work in one of the designated jobs.
The new law is only applicable to injuries claimed on or after January 1, 2019. Employers have the ability to rebut the presumption and challenge an employee’s claim to benefits.
The new law makes it clear a diagnosis of PTSD is not considered an occupational disease if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer.