In the wake of the Pulse tragedy the case of Officer Gerry Realin, exposed the harsh reality that Florida workers' compensation law does not recognize post traumatic stress disorder as a work injury for First Responders. Over the last six months media reports have highlighted the need to change this law to benefit First Responders and the communities they serve. In response several Florida legislators have taken action, but there are serious concerns that proposed legislation may not go far enough in protecting these brave men and women in uniform. In particular, the bill filed by Senator Perry, SB 516, could be interpreted as limiting coverage for PTSD to situations occurring outside the normal course of employment. Conversely, the bill filed by Senator Torres, SB 1088 ,provides broad coverage with a more favorable burden of proof. Florida must pass the most favorable and broadest protections for First Responders suffering from PTSD, and the time to act is now.
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