This story was originally published in the Nebraska Examiner.
LINCOLN — Recent shootings at a west Omaha Target store and a Bellevue Sonic restaurant call for a change in what workers compensation insurance will cover, according to State Sen. Carol Blood.
Blood, who represents Bellevue, has introduced a bill that would expand workers compensation insurance coverage to include “mental injuries and mental illness resulting from workplace violence or terrorism.”
Under Legislative Bill 5, workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental injuries could get workers comp coverage for treatment.
PTSD, Blood said in a press release, is now recognized as a major disability impacting thousands of workers across the nation.
“Our current Workman’s Comp Insurance guidelines need to be updated to embrace known issues that pertain to Nebraska’s workplaces,” the senator said.
She cited the Jan. 31 shooting at the west Omaha Target store in which a mentally troubled 32-year-old man was shot and killed by police after he entered the store and began firing an AR-15 style rifle at random.
In November 2020, two workers at a Sonic drive-in restaurant in Bellevue were killed and two others wounded when a man, a former customer, opened fire.
“Imagine being a survivor in that scenario?” Blood asked, adding that some witnesses to the shooting have been diagnosed as now having PTSD.
LB 5 is scheduled for a public hearing Monday at 1:30 p.m. before the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee.