Recent Omaha Target Store Shooting Requires Workers Compensation Changes, Senator Says

This story was originally published in the Nebraska Examiner.

LINCOLN. The recent shootings at Omaha Target Western Store and Bellevue Sonic restaurant require a change in what workers’ compensation insurance covers, according to state senator Carol Blood.

Blood, who represents Bellevue, has introduced a bill that would expand workers’ compensation coverage to include “mental injury and mental illness resulting from workplace violence or terrorism.”

Under Legislative Bill 5, workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health conditions may be eligible for medical treatment compensation.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is now recognized as a major disability affecting thousands of workers across the country, Blood said in a press release.

“Our current recommendations for workers’ compensation insurance need to be updated to cover known issues related to jobs in Nebraska,” the senator said.

She referred to the January 31 shooting at a western Omaha Target store in which a mentally disturbed 32-year-old man was shot dead by police after he entered the store and started shooting indiscriminately with an AR-15 type rifle.

In November 2020, two workers at a Sonic restaurant in Bellevue were killed and two others injured when a man, a former customer, opened fire.

“Imagine you survived this scenario?” Blood asked, adding that some of the witnesses to the shooting had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Public hearings on LB 5 are scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m. before the Legislative Assembly’s Business and Labor Committee.

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