Bill 2, Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), 2014

DiNovo, Cheri

Current Status: First Reading Carried

Viewing: Original (current version) pdf

Bill 2                                                            2014

An Act to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 with respect to post-traumatic stress disorder

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

   1.  The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 is amended by adding the following sections:

Presumption re: emergency response workers, etc.

Definitions

   15.3  (1)  In this section,

“emergency response worker” means a firefighter, police officer or paramedic; (“intervenant d’urgence”)

“firefighter” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997; (“pompier”)

“paramedic” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Ambulance Act; (“auxiliaire médical”)

“police officer” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Police Services Act; (“agent de police”)

“post-traumatic stress disorder” means an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a traumatic event or experience with symptoms that may include flashbacks, nightmares and intense feelings of fear or horror.  (“trouble de stress post-traumatique”)

Presumption re: post-traumatic stress disorder

   (2)  If an emergency response worker suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the disorder is presumed to be an occupational disease that occurs due to the nature of the worker’s employment as an emergency response worker, unless the contrary is shown. 

Time of diagnosis

   (3)  The presumption in subsection (2) applies only to post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosed on or after the day the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), 2014 receives Royal Assent. 

Conditions and restrictions

   (4)  The presumption in subsection (2) is subject to any conditions and restrictions prescribed under clause (5) (a). 

Regulations

   (5)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

  (a)  prescribing conditions and restrictions relating to the presumption established by subsection (2), including, but not limited to, conditions and restrictions related to nature of employment, length of employment, time during which the worker was employed or age of the worker;

  (b)  providing for such transitional matters as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable in relation to this section and the regulations under this section. 

Claims based on presumption

   15.4  (1)  This section applies where the presumption established under section 15.3 applies to the post-traumatic stress disorder with which a worker is diagnosed.

New claims

   (2)  If the worker or his or her survivor never filed a claim in respect of the disorder, the worker or his or her survivor may file a claim with the Board, and the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with section 15.3 and the regulations under it, as that section and those regulations read at the time the Board makes its decision.

Refiled claim

   (3)  Subject to subsection (4), if the worker or his or her survivor filed a claim in respect of the disorder and the claim was denied by the Board or by the Appeals Tribunal, the worker or his or her survivor may refile the claim with the Board and the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with section 15.3 and the regulations under it, as that section and those regulations read at the time the Board makes its decision. 

Time limits do not apply

   (4)  The time limits set out in subsections 22 (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of a claim that is refiled under subsection (3). 

Pending appeal

   (5)  If a claim is pending before the Appeals Tribunal, the Appeals Tribunal shall refer the claim back to the Board, and the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with section 15.3 and the regulations under it, as that section and those regulations read at the time the Board makes its decision. 

Pending claim

   (6)  If a claim is pending before the Board, the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with section 15.3 and the regulations under it, as that section and those regulations read at the time the Board makes its decision. 

Commencement

   2.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   3.  The short title of this Act is the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), 2014.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 is amended to create a rebuttable presumption relating to post-traumatic stress disorder affecting emergency response workers.

Subsection 15.3 (1) defines emergency response worker to mean a firefighter, paramedic or police officer.

Subsection 15.3 (2) states that if an emergency response worker suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, the disorder is presumed to be an occupational disease that occurred due to the employment as an emergency response worker, unless the contrary is shown.

The Bill sets out procedural and transitional rules governing claims to which a presumption applies.

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