The New York Senate approved a proposal on Thursday aiming to extend workers compensation benefits for mental stress to all employees experiencing extreme stress, a half year following the veto of a similar proposal by Governor Kathy Hochul, which was passed in 2022.
The bill, known as A.B. 5745, was endorsed with a vote of 40-18 and subsequently forwarded to the state Assembly.
This legislation, as analyzed by experts, is poised to significantly broaden the scope of employer responsibility for mental distress in work environments. It aims to eliminate wording in the state law which currently confines work-induced stress benefits exclusively to specific roles — such as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dispatchers, and others certified to offer medical aid in emergency scenarios.
The proposed law would broaden compensation benefits to all employees in the state, based on “exceptional work-related stress at work.” It would also prevent the state’s Workers Compensation Board from rejecting a claim if the facts establish that the stressor is ordinarily present in the workplace.
The implementation of the enhanced mental health benefits would commence the following year after the bill’s passage.
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