Today's Law As Amended


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AB-664 Workers’ compensation: injury: COVID-19.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 3212.18 is added to the Labor Code, immediately following Section 3212.15, to read:

3212.18.
 (a) This section applies to all of the following:
(1) Active firefighting members, whether volunteers, partly paid, or fully paid, of all of the following fire departments:
(A) A fire department of a city, county, city and county, district, or other public or municipal corporation or political subdivision.
(B) A fire department of the University of California and the California State University.
(C) The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
(D) A county forestry or firefighting department or unit.
(2) All of the following persons:
(A) A member of a police department of a city or county.
(B) A member of the sheriff’s office of a county.
(C) A member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
(D) An inspector or investigator in a district attorney’s office of any county, whose principal duties consist of active law enforcement service.
(E) A prison or jail guard or correctional officer who is employed by a public agency.
(F) A peace officer, as defined in Section 830.1, or subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 830.37, of the Penal Code, who is primarily engaged in active law enforcement activities.
(3) Health care employees who provide direct patient care in an acute care hospital, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) (A) Fire and rescue services coordinators who work for the Office of Emergency Services.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “fire and rescue services coordinators” means coordinators who are in any of the following job classifications: coordinator, senior coordinator, or chief coordinator.
(5) Active firefighting members of a fire department that serves a United States Department of Defense installation and who are certified by the United States Department of Defense as meeting its standards for firefighters.
(6) Active firefighting members of a fire department that serves a National Aeronautics and Space Administration installation and who adhere to training standards established in accordance with Article 4 (commencing with Section 13155) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 12 of the Health and Safety Code.
(7) Active firefighting members of a fire department that provides fire protection to a commercial airport regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 139 (commencing with section 139.1) of Title 14 of the Federal Code of Regulations and are trained and certified by the State Fire Marshal as meeting the standards of Fire Control 5 and Section 139.319 of Title 14 of the Federal Code of Regulations.
(b) In the case of a person described in subdivision (a), the term “injury,” as used in this division, includes illness or death resulting from COVID-19, that is diagnosed on or after January 1, 2020, if all of the following circumstances apply:
(1) The person was diagnosed with or tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days after a day that the employee performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment at the employer’s direction.
(2) A diagnosis as described in subdivision (b) was done by a physician and surgeon licensed by the Medical Board of California and that diagnosis is confirmed by further testing within 30 days of the date of diagnosis.
(3) If paragraph (1) is satisfied through a diagnosis of COVID-19, the diagnosis was done by a physician who holds a physician and surgeon license issued by the Medical Board of California and that diagnosis is confirmed by further testing within 30 days of the date of diagnosis.
(c) For an injury described in subdivision (b), the compensation shall include full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits, as provided by this division.
(d) The injury so developing or manifesting itself in these cases shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment. This presumption is disputable and may be controverted by other evidence, but unless so controverted, the appeals board is bound to find in accordance with it. This presumption shall be extended to a person described in subdivision (a) following termination of service for a period of 30 days, commencing with the last date actually worked in the specified capacity. The date of injury shall be the last date the employee performed labor or services for the employer.
(e) Notwithstanding Section 5402, if liability for a claim of injury as defined in subdivision (b) is not rejected within 30 days after the date the claim form is filed pursuant to Section 5401, the injury shall be presumed compensable, unless rebutted by evidence only discovered after the 30-day period.
(f) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to fully compensate the peace officers, firefighters, and health care employees whose lives are placed at risk when they are exposed to or contract COVID-19 in the course of performing their duties. To that end, the Legislature finds and declares that whenever a state public health emergency, as described in subdivision (b), is declared, both of the following policies and goals should be implemented:
(A) Provision of or reimbursement for housing and living expenses related to an ordered quarantine.
(B) An employee who is directed to quarantine by a licensed health care professional, a public health officer or agency, or the employer as a result of exposure to COVID-19 should be provided paid leave and should not be required to use the employee’s accrued vacation leave, personal leave, compensatory leave, sick leave, or any other personal leave.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to strongly encourage the development and implementation of the policies and goals described in paragraph (1) in order to effectuate the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 Section 6401 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

6401.
 (a)  Every employer shall furnish and use safety devices and safeguards, and shall adopt and use practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which are reasonably adequate to render such employment and place of employment safe and healthful. Every employer shall do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety, and health of employees.
(b) Every employer shall provide an employee with emergency equipment or personal protective equipment (PPE) that provides or is ancillary to other emergency equipment or PPE that provides protection from injury for the employee. A violation of this subdivision is not a violation of Section 6423.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 Section 6403 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

6403.
 No An  employer shall not  fail or neglect to do any of the following:
(a) To provide and use safety devices and safeguards reasonably adequate to render the employment and place of employment safe.
(b) To adopt and use methods and processes reasonably adequate to render the employment and place of employment safe.
(c) To do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety, and health of employees.
(d) To provide an employee with emergency equipment or personal protective equipment (PPE) that provides or is ancillary to other emergency equipment or PPE that provides protection from injury for the employee. A violation of this subdivision is not a violation of Section 6423.
SEC. 4.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In light of the Governor’s declaration on March 4, 2020, of a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19, and because firefighters, peace officers, health care workers, and fire and rescue services coordinators who provide vital services during the state of emergency are at heightened risk for exposure to and death from COVID-19, in order to ensure that these persons are properly reimbursed for their out-of-pocket costs for the purchase of personal protective equipment, medical and living expenses, and temporary housing as soon as possible, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.