N.H. Bill Tightens State Workers’ Comp Law

January 22, 2001

A new bill introduced in the New Hampshire House addresses a controversial state Supreme Court ruling that allowed a worker who became depressed after an unfavorable performance review to collect under her employer’s workers’ compensation policy.

H.B. 232, introduced earlier this month by Rep. Robert Clegg, would clarify the current New Hampshire workers’ compensation statute by providing that a “mental injury” arising from any job disciplinary action or work evaluation is not compensable under the law. The correction is in direct response to last year’s ruling by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in a case involving a clerk for the state Department of Health and Human Services who received critical performance reviews from her supervisors.

The clerk was later diagnosed as clinically depressed and filed a workers’ compensation claim, saying her health problems were work-related. A public hearing on H.B. 232 is scheduled for Jan. 24 in the House Labor Committee.

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