The British Columbia Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 9) has received Royal assent and is now in effect. This legislation creates a mental disorder presumption for first responders who are exposed to traumatic events as part of their employment.
The presumption means that in BC, first responders who are exposed to one or more traumatic events arising out of and in the course of their employment and have a mental disorder that is recognized as a condition that may arise from exposure to a traumatic event, do not have to prove that the mental disorder is a reaction to a traumatic event related to their work.
The presumption applies to correctional officers, emergency medical assistants, firefighters, police officers and sheriffs but does not extend to call-takers and dispatchers.
With this amendment, BC joins seven other Canadian jurisdictions that currently have legislative presumptions in relation to work-related PTSD/mental disorders. These jurisdictions are: Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Yukon.