2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
October 18, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Jacque, Bewley, Wanggaard,
Erpenbach, Johnson, Marklein, Nass, Schachtner and Wirch, cosponsored
by Representatives Horlacher, Emerson, Allen, Anderson, Ballweg,
Brandtjen, Brostoff, Considine, Dittrich, Doyle, Edming, Kerkman, Krug,
Kulp, Mursau, Novak, Ott, Petryk, Pope, Shankland, Sinicki, Skowronski,
Sortwell, Spiros, Spreitzer, Stubbs, Stuck, Subeck, C. Taylor, Vruwink and
Tusler. Referred to Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform.
1An Act to amend
102.42 (1); and
102.17 (9), 102.42 (1p) and 102.44 2
(7) of the statutes; relating to: claims for compensation for post-traumatic
3stress disorder by police officers and fire fighters under the worker's
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill makes changes to the conditions of liability for worker's compensation
benefits for a law enforcement officer or a fire fighter (public safety officer) who is
diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The bill provides that if a public safety officer is diagnosed with post-traumatic
stress disorder by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist and the mental injury that
resulted in that diagnosis is not accompanied by a physical injury, that public safety
officer can bring a claim for worker's compensation benefits if the conditions of
liability are proven by a preponderance of the evidence and the mental injury is not
the result of a good-faith employment action by the person's employer. Under the
bill, such an injured public safety employee is not required to demonstrate a
diagnosis based on unusual stress of greater dimensions than the day-to-day
emotional strain and tension experienced by similarly situated employees as
required under School District No. 1 v. DILHR, 62 Wis. 2d 370, 215 N.W.2d 373
The bill also limits liability for treatment for a mental injury that is
compensable under the bill's provisions to no more than 32 weeks after the injury is
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
102.17 (9) of the statutes is created to read:
(a) In this subsection:
1. “Fire fighter" means any person employed on a full-time basis by the state 4
or any political subdivision as a member or officer of a fire department, including the 5
first class cities and state fire marshal and deputies.
2. “Post-traumatic stress disorder” means that condition, as described in the 7
5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the 8
American Psychiatric Association.
(b) In the case of a mental injury that is not accompanied by a physical injury 10
and that results in a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in a law enforcement 11
officer, as defined in s. 23.33 (1) (ig), or a fire fighter, the claim for compensation for 12
the mental injury, in order to be compensable under this chapter, is subject to all of 13
1. The mental injury must satisfy all of the following conditions:
a. The diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is made by a licensed 16
psychiatrist or psychologist.
b. The conditions of liability under s. 102.03 (1) are proven by the 18
preponderance of the evidence.
2. The mental injury may not be a result of any of the following actions taken 20
in good faith by the employer:
a. A disciplinary action.
b. A work evaluation.
c. A job transfer.
e. A demotion.
f. A termination.
3. The diagnosis does not need to be based on unusual stress of greater 7
dimensions than the day-to-day emotional strain and tension experienced by 8
similarly situated employees.
102.42 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
102.42 (1) Treatment of employee. The Subject to the limitations under sub.
employer shall supply such medical, surgical, chiropractic, psychological, 12
podiatric, dental, and hospital treatment, medicines, medical and surgical supplies, 13
crutches, artificial members, appliances, and training in the use of artificial 14
members and appliances, or, at the option of the employee, Christian Science 15
treatment in lieu of medical treatment, medicines, and medical supplies, as may be 16
reasonably required to cure and relieve from the effects of the injury, and to attain 17
efficient use of artificial members and appliances, and in case of the employer's 18
neglect or refusal seasonably to do so, or in emergency until it is practicable for the 19
employee to give notice of injury, the employer shall be liable for the reasonable 20
expense incurred by or on behalf of the employee in providing such treatment, 21
medicines, supplies, and training. When the employer has knowledge of the injury 22
and the necessity for treatment, the employer's failure to tender the necessary 23
treatment, medicines, supplies, and training constitutes such neglect or refusal. The 24
employer shall also be liable for reasonable expense incurred by the employee for 25
necessary treatment to cure and relieve the employee from the effects of occupational
disease prior to the time that the employee knew or should have known the nature 2
of his or her disability and its relation to employment, and as to such treatment subs. 3
(2) and (3) shall not apply. The obligation to furnish such treatment and appliances 4
shall continue as required to prevent further deterioration in the condition of the 5
employee or to maintain the existing status of such condition whether or not healing 6
102.42 (1p) of the statutes is created to read:
102.42 (1p) Liability for treatment of certain mental injuries.
The employer 9
of an employee whose injury is a mental injury that is compensable under s. 102.17 10
(9) is liable for the employee's treatment of the mental injury for no more than 32 11
weeks after the injury is first reported.
102.44 (7) of the statutes is created to read:
In the case of an employee whose injury is a mental injury that is 14
compensable under s. 102.17 (9), the period of disability may not exceed 32 weeks 15
after the injury is first reported.
(1) Worker's compensation insurance; rate approval; notice.
commissioner of insurance shall submit to the legislative reference bureau for 19
publication in the Wisconsin Administrative Register a notice of the effective date 20
of new rates for worker's compensation insurance first approved by the 21
commissioner after the effective date of this subsection.
(1) This act first applies to injuries reported on the effective date of rate changes 2
for worker's compensation insurance approved by the commissioner of insurance 3
under s. 626.13 after the effective date of this subsection.