Elm Grove Pharmacy Technician Who Was Held at Gunpoint Works to Change Workers Comp Benefits
WHEELING, W.Va -
Stacee Hess is a pharmacy technician who was held at gunpoint during an attempted armed robbery last year. That robber was shot and killed by the owner of the pharmacy that day, but the experience affected her deeply.
Right now, workers compensation will not pay for mental issues that happen at work. Had it not been for the local crime victim program, Hess says she probably wouldn't have gone to therapy, because she would have had to pay for it out of pocket.
She wants others, in situations like hers, to receive some help as they try to heal. With the help of some local and state officials, she is hoping to spark a change.
"I never asked to have a gun pointed to my face; therefore, I don't feel that it should be my payment, out of my pocket, to get the help that I need," Hess said. "It's not a matter of asking to be off work all the time. It's just asking to get the therapy and the help that you need at that moment."
Senator Jeff Kessler is also on board with the effort. He introduced Senate Bill 168 on February 15th.
The bill would allow a victim of a violent crime to collect workers compensation for certain mental illnesses that are a direct result of that crime, which must have occurred during the course of employment, and be reported to police within 72 hours of the crime.
WTRF.com will keep you updated during the next legislative session, and let you what this means for victims like Hess in the future.