Sometimes, well-intentioned proposals can have unintended consequences. That’s the case with SB 823, which could open the door too widely to new workers’ compensation claims and even higher costs in Connecticut.

SB 823 enables public and private-sector employees to pursue workers' compensation claims when they suffer a psychological injury that’s unrelated to a physical injury.

The proposal is an understandable legislative reaction to the tragedy in Newtown. However, SB 823 is so broadly drafted that it goes beyond those types of events.

Numerous aspects of this bill are so vague that it’s impossible to clearly determine what, when, or who is covered under its provisions.

What’s more, SB 823 doesn’t require the diagnosis of a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is what most legislators indicate is what they wanted to see covered.

All things considered, SB 823 is likely to result in new claims that legislators were not intending to cover. This in turn could increase workers’ compensation costs for all employers, and especially for the state and municipalities.

CBIA urges lawmakers not to adopt legislation that is overly broad and could lead to a potential sharp increase in workers’ comp claims and costs.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 or eric.gjede@cbia.com.