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AB-263 Emergency medical services workers: rights and working conditions.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 06/21/2017 09:00 PM
AB263:v93#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 21, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 24, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 08, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  February 14, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 263


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bocanegra, Kalra, and Thurmond)

January 31, 2017


An act to add Section 1797.123 to the Health and Safety Code, and to add Sections 226.9 and 226.10 226.9, 226.10, and 226.11 to the Labor Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 263, as amended, Rodriguez. Emergency medical services workers: rights and working conditions.
Existing law, the Emergency Medical Services System and the Prehospital Emergency Medical Care Personnel Act, governs local emergency medical service systems and plans and establishes the Emergency Medical Services Authority, which is responsible for the coordination and integration of all state activities concerning emergency medical services. Existing law provides that emergency medical personnel have specified due process rights when they are subject to suspension or termination for disciplinary cause or reason, as defined.
Existing law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to work during a meal or rest or recovery period mandated by an applicable statute, or an applicable regulation, standard, or order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, or the Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Existing orders of the commission applicable to ambulance drivers and attendants and to medical technicians require that unless the employee is relieved of all duty during a 30 -minute meal period, the meal period shall be considered an on-duty meal period and counted as time worked. Those orders authorize an on-duty meal period only when the nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all duty and when the parties, by written agreement, agree to an on-the-job paid meal period.
This bill would require an employer that provides emergency medical services as part of an emergency medical services system or plan to authorize and permit its employees engaged in prehospital emergency services to take prescribed rest periods. This periods, including specifying grounds for interruption of a rest period and compensation for an interrupted rest period. The bill also would require the employer to provide these employees with prescribed meal periods. periods, including specifying grounds for interruption of a meal period and compensation for an interrupted meal period. The bill would authorize an employer to require during rest and meal periods that employees monitor pagers, radios, station alert boxes, intercoms, cellular telephones, or other communication methods to provide for the public health and welfare.
Existing federal law, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, preempts a state from enacting or enforcing any law, regulation, or other provision that relates to an air carrier’s price, route, or service.
The bill would specify that an employer who is an air carrier under federal law and who conducts business as an air ambulance service, without penalty, may avoid disruption of services by requiring an employee to remain on call during meal and rest periods, or as otherwise dictated by federal law. The bill would require such an employer to provide another meal period or authorize and permit another rest period, or both a meal and rest period, as applicable, when an employee is affirmatively required to interrupt his or her meal or rest period to respond to the needs of patients. The bill would also specify that such an employer may avoid disruption of services by requiring an employee to continue to provide emergency care during a patient transport during meal and rest periods, or as otherwise dictated by federal law. The bill would require such an employer, if it cannot provide a meal or rest period to an employee with direct responsibility for emergency air ambulance services within the timeframes established under applicable law, due to patient needs or the necessity to provide service, to provide a meal or rest period as soon as reasonably possible.
Existing law establishes the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board within the Department of Industrial Relations, and authorizes the board to adopt, amend, or repeal occupational safety and health standards and orders. Existing law, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973, requires the standards board to adopt standards developed by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health that require specified licensed hospitals to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan to protect health care workers and other facility personnel from aggressive and violent behavior, but prohibits this provision from being interpreted to preclude the standards board from adopting standards that require other employers to adopt plans to protect employees from workplace violence, including workplace violence prevention plans that include elements or requirements additional to, or broader in scope than, those described in the provision.
This bill would require an EMS provider, as defined, to send the information contained in the violent incident log it is required to maintain under a specified regulation to the Emergency Medical Services Authority. The bill would require the authority, on or before January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, to post a report on its Internet Web site containing this information. The bill would prohibit these provisions from altering or amending the existing reporting and recordkeeping requirements of EMS providers imposed by the specified regulation.
The bill would exempt certain public employers from these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1797.123 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1797.123.
 (a) An EMS provider shall send to the authority the information that the EMS provider is required to record in its violent incident log pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 3342 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, as it existed on April 1, 2017.
(b) On or before January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter, the authority, in a manner that protects patient and employee confidentiality, shall post a report on its Internet Web site containing the information it received in the previous calendar year pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) For purposes of this section, “EMS provider” means an employer that provides prehospital emergency medical services as part of an emergency medical services system or plan but shall not include the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county, or special district, in its capacity as the direct employer of an EMS employee.
(d) Nothing in this section shall alter or amend existing reporting and recordkeeping requirements of EMS providers required by Section 3342 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, as it existed on April 1, 2017.

SEC. 2.

 Section 226.9 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

226.9.
 (a) An employer that provides emergency medical services as part of an emergency medical services system or plan, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, shall authorize and permit its employees engaged in prehospital emergency services to take rest periods, which, to the extent practicable, shall be in the middle of each work period. The duration of the authorized rest period shall be based on the total hours worked daily at the rate of 10 minutes net rest time per four hours or major fraction thereof. However, a rest period need not be authorized for an employee whose total daily work time is less than three and one-half hours. Authorized rest period time shall be counted as hours worked for which there shall be no deduction from wages.
(b) During the authorized rest period set forth in subdivision (a), an employer shall relieve an employee of all duties and relinquish control over how the employee spends his or her time, except that an employer may require employees to monitor pagers, radios, station alert boxes, intercoms, cellular telephones, or other communication methods during rest or recovery periods, to provide for the public health and welfare.
(c) (1) An employer may interrupt a rest period under this section requiring an employee to terminate a rest period and resume work if either of the following occur: occurs:
(A) The employer receives an emergency call in response to which the operators of the emergency vehicle in which the employee works would sound a siren and make visible the vehicle’s emergency lights.
(B) An unforeseeable, natural, or man-made disaster.
(2) In the event that a rest period is interrupted pursuant to paragraph (1), the employer shall pay the employee one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each workday during which the rest period is interrupted, and shall provide an equivalent rest period as soon as practicable thereafter during the employee’s shift.
(d) An employer described in subdivision (a) shall include, as part of the itemized statement the employer is required to furnish pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 226, the total hours or pay owed to the employee on account of an interrupted rest period as set forth in subdivision (c), as well as the total hours or pay owed to the employee on account of a rest period missed for any other reason.
(e) This section shall not apply to employees directly employed by the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county, or special district.

SEC. 3.

 Section 226.10 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

226.10.
 (a) An employer that provides emergency medical services as part of an emergency medical services system or plan, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, shall provide an employee engaged in prehospital emergency services for a work period of more than five hours per day with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee.
(b) During the meal period set forth in subdivision (a), an employer shall relieve an employee of all duties and relinquish control over how the employee spends his or her time, except that an employer may require employees to monitor pagers, radios, station alert boxes, intercoms, cellular telephones, or other communication methods during rest or recovery periods, to provide for the public health and welfare.
(c) (1) An employer may interrupt a meal period under this section requiring an employee to terminate a meal period and resume work if either of the following occurs:
(A) The employer receives an emergency call in response to which the operators of the emergency vehicle in which the employee works would sound a siren and make visible the vehicle’s emergency lights.
(B) An unforeseeable, natural, or man-made disaster.
(2) In the event that a meal period is interrupted pursuant to paragraph (1), the employer shall pay the employee one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each workday during which the meal period is interrupted, and shall provide an equivalent meal period as soon as practicable thereafter during the employee’s shift. This subdivision shall apply regardless of whether the employee and employer have entered into a written agreement regarding an “on duty” meal period described in paragraph (C) of Section 11 of Wage Order 9 of the Industrial Welfare Commission (8 Cal. Code Regs. 11090).
(d) An employer described in subdivision (a) shall keep accurate time records showing when an employee begins and ends each meal period regardless of whether the period is interrupted. The records shall be available for inspection by the employee upon reasonable request.
(e) An employer described in subdivision (a) shall include, as part of the itemized statement the employer is required to furnish pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 226, the total hours or pay owed to the employee on account of an interrupted meal period as set forth in subdivision (c), as well as the total hours or pay owed to the employee on account of a meal period missed for any other reason.
(f) This section shall not apply to employees directly employed by the state or any political subdivision thereof, including any city, county, or special district.

SEC. 4.

 Section 226.11 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

226.11.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, an employer who is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 135 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations as a direct or indirect air carrier, and who conducts business as an air ambulance service, without penalty, may avoid disruption of services by requiring an employee to remain on call during meal and rest periods, or as otherwise dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration, or as governed by the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-504, as amended). The employer shall provide another meal period or authorize and permit another rest period, or both a meal and rest period, as applicable, when an employee is affirmatively required to interrupt his or her meal or rest period to respond to the needs of patients.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, an employer who is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 135 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations as a direct or indirect air carrier, and who conducts business as an air ambulance service, without penalty, may avoid disruption of services by requiring an employee to continue to provide emergency care during a patient transport during meal and rest periods, or as otherwise dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration, or as governed by the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-504, as amended). If the employer cannot provide a meal or rest period to an employee with direct responsibility for emergency air ambulance services within the timeframes established under applicable law, due to patient needs or the necessity to provide service, the employer shall provide a meal or rest period as soon as reasonably possible.