Bill Text

Bill Information

Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-375 Workers’ compensation: hospital employees: presumption.(2011-2012)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB375:v93#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 31, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  August 18, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  August 15, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  July 05, 2011
Amended  IN  Senate  June 29, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 27, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 375


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Skinner
(Principal Coauthor(s): Senator Alquist)

February 14, 2011


An act to add Section 3212.13 to the Labor Code, relating to workers’ compensation.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 375, as amended, Skinner. Workers’ compensation: hospital employees: presumption.
Existing law provides that an injury of an employee arising out of and in the course of employment is generally compensable through the workers’ compensation system. Existing law provides that, in the case of certain public employees, the term “injury” includes heart trouble, hernia, pneumonia, human immunodeficiency virus, lower back impairment, and other injuries and diseases.
This bill would provide, with respect to hospital employees who provide direct patient care in an acute care hospital, as defined, that the term “injury” includes a bloodborne infectious disease, as defined, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that develops or manifests itself during the period of the person’s employment with the hospital.
This bill would further create a disputable presumption that the above injury arises out of and in the course of the person’s employment if it develops or manifests as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to the United States Department of Labor, health care is the second fastest growing sector of the United States economy, employing over 12 million workers. Women represent nearly 80 percent of the health care work force.
(b) By the nature of their profession, health care workers are in constant danger of being directly exposed to many infectious diseases and indirectly exposed through contact with various pieces of equipment, chemicals, and clothing.
(c) Registered nurses constitute the largest occupation within the health care sector and number over 2.5 million, of which 70 percent are employed in hospitals.
(d) The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 needlestick and other percutaneous injuries occur annually in hospitals in the United States.
(e) Health care acquired infections in California hospitals account for an estimated 200,000 infections and 12,000 deaths annually, according to the State Department of Public Health.
(f) According to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, in 2007 there were 52,000 cases of MRSA-infected patients at hospitals across the state.
(g) Public safety employees, such as police officers and firefighters, already have guaranteed access to the workers’ compensation system for MRSA, HIV, cancer, leukemia, meningitis, back injuries, and other work-related illnesses and injuries. However, presumptive eligibility for workers’ compensation is nonexistent for health care workers.
(h) Due to the rise in work-related illnesses and injuries, including MRSA and other bloodborne diseases, it is most appropriate to protect health care workers by ensuring access to workers’ compensation for health care workers who suffer workplace injuries or contract infectious diseases.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3212.13 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

3212.13.
 (a) In the case of a hospital employee who provides direct patient care in an acute care hospital, referred to in this section as hospital employee, the term “injury,” as used in this section, includes a bloodborne infectious disease or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that develops or manifests itself during a period of the person’s employment with the hospital. The compensation awarded for that injury shall include full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits, as provided by this division.
(b) (1) The bloodborne infectious disease or MRSA so developing or manifesting itself shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of employment. This presumption is disputable and may be controverted by other evidence, but unless so controverted, the appeals board shall so find.
(2) The bloodborne infectious disease presumption shall be extended to a hospital employee following termination of service for a period of 180 days, commencing with the last date actually worked.
(3) The MRSA presumption shall be extended to a hospital employee following termination of service for a period of 90 days, commencing with the last day actually worked.
(c) The bloodborne infectious disease or MRSA so developing or manifesting itself in those cases shall not be attributed to any disease or skin infection existing prior to that development or manifestation.
(d) For the purposes of this section, “bloodborne infectious disease” means a disease caused by exposure to pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood that can cause disease in humans, including those pathogenic microorganisms defined as bloodborne pathogens by the Department of Industrial Relations.
(e) For the purposes of this section, “acute care hospital” means a health facility as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.