Workers' compensation; post-traumatic stress disorder, law-enforcement officers and firefighters. (HB438)

Introduced By

Del. Steve Heretick (D-Portsmouth) with support from co-patron Del. Karrie Delaney (D-Centreville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Workers' compensation; post-traumatic stress disorder; law-enforcement officers and firefighters. Provides that post-traumatic stress disorder incurred by a law-enforcement officer or firefighter is compensable under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act if a mental health professional examines a law-enforcement officer or firefighter and diagnoses the individual as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the individual's undergoing a qualifying event, which includes an event occurring in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2020, in which a law-enforcement officer or firefighter views a deceased minor, witnesses the death of a person or an incident involving the death of a person, witnesses an injury to a person who subsequently dies, has physical contact with and treats an injured person who subsequently dies, transports an injured person who subsequently dies, or witnesses a traumatic physical injury that results in the loss of a vital body part or a vital body function that results in permanent disfigurement of the victim. Other conditions for compensability include (i) if the post-traumatic stress disorder resulted from the law-enforcement officer or firefighter acting in the line of duty and, in the case of a firefighter, such firefighter complied with certain federal Occupational Safety and Health Act standards; (ii) if the law-enforcement officer's or firefighter's undergoing a qualifying event was a substantial factor in causing his post-traumatic stress disorder; (iii) if such qualifying event, and not another event or source of stress, was the primary cause of the post-traumatic stress disorder; and (iv) if the post-traumatic stress disorder did not result from any disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action of the officer or firefighter. The measure establishes procedural requirements on employers that contest a claim for such benefits. The measure also establishes requirements for resilience and self-care technique training. Read the Bill »


03/05/2020: Passed the General Assembly


01/03/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20102221D
01/03/2020Referred to Committee on Labor and Commerce
01/14/2020Assigned L & C sub: Subcommittee #1
01/20/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB438)
01/28/2020House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
01/28/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (6-Y 2-N)
01/28/2020Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
01/30/2020Reported from Labor and Commerce with substitute (19-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2020Referred to Committee on Appropriations
01/30/2020Committee substitute printed 20106944D-H1
02/03/2020Assigned App. sub: Compensation & General Government
02/04/2020House subcommittee amendments and substitutes offered
02/07/2020Subcommittee recommends reporting with substitute (7-Y 1-N)
02/07/2020Committee substitute printed 20108008D-H2
02/07/2020Reported from Appropriations with substitute (21-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2020Incorporates HB1596
02/09/2020Read first time
02/10/2020Read second time
02/10/2020Committee on Labor and Commerce substitute rejected 20106944D-H1
02/10/2020Committee on Appropriations substitute agreed to 20108008D-H2
02/10/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute HB438H2
02/11/2020Read third time and passed House (96-Y 0-N)
02/11/2020VOTE: Passage (96-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2020Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2020Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/14/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB438H2)
02/17/2020Reported from Commerce and Labor (13-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2020Rereferred to Finance and Appropriations
02/25/2020Reported from Finance and Appropriations (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2020Read third time
02/27/2020Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/04/2020Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB438ER)
03/04/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB438ER)
03/05/2020Signed by Speaker
03/05/2020Signed by President
03/12/2020Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 12, 2020
03/12/2020G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 11, 2020

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