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Workers’ Comp Bills that CA Lawmakers Are Debating in 2020

California has achieved a recent reputation for tackling employment-related issues in its legislation, from defining employees versus independent contractors, to being the first state to protect health care workers through data privacy. Now, there are a number of newly introduced bills in the California legislature that grapple with workers’ compensation programs and various worker safety issues.

By learning more about the bills that will be debated by lawmakers this year, you can also learn more about the direction California and the rest of the country is headed in terms of worker rights and treatment.

SB 1047

This bill would expand PTSD protections for firefighters to include members of the Military Department, the State Department of State Hospitals, and the State Department of Developmental Services. Peace officers including Department of Justice security officers would also be covered.

SB 924

Currently, workers’ compensation programs contract with an outside research organization to evaluate how medical treatment given within 30 days after a claim is filed between January 2017 and January 2019. This new bill would extend the evaluation to cover claims filed between January 2017 and January 2021.

AB 2537

This bill would require employers to have an injury and illness protection program for hospital staff who directly care for patients suffering from opioid overdoses. The bill would also require annual reports on information regarding opioid exposure at hospitals from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

AB 2665

This bill would expand a law to include peace officers in the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Parks and Recreation in providing presumptions for skin cancer that may develop in lifeguards.

SB 1103

This bill proposes more penalties for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s standards, as well as regulations of the use of carcinogens. The increased penalties include a penalty for repeated violations. Employers who expose workers to carcinogens could have to pay heavy fines if this bill is passed.

Workers’ Comp Benefit Availability

Workers’ compensation benefits that are available to workers in California include:

  • Temporary disability: This is for individuals who are temporarily unable to work their jobs as a result of their injuries.
  • Permanent partial disability: Individuals whose injuries are determined to be permanent receive these payments.
  • Supplemental job displacement: This is available for workers who can’t return to their same jobs after their injuries.
  • Death benefits: These payments are made to the spouse and children of the worker who dies from their injuries or illness.
  • Medical treatment: This covers the medical care needed to treat injuries or illnesses.

Compassionate Legal Counsel

At Smolich & Smolich, our workers’ compensation lawyers aim to protect the rights of workers who have been injured in the workplace. Filing for workers’ compensation benefits can be confusing and bring up questions regarding eligibility and denied or delayed claims – our team can answer all your questions and give you peace of mind while we help resolve your concerns. Whether you need to file a temporary or permanent disability claim or wonder how your family can apply for death benefits, we can provide guidance that comes from more than 100 years of combined legal experience.

Call Smolich & Smolich for a free consultation at (916) 571-0400, or contact us online if you have questions regarding workers’ compensation benefits, disability benefits, or your personal injury-related matter. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our lawyers can be trusted to deliver optimal results.

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