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AB-1117 Peace officers: peer support.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/13/2019 09:00 PM
AB1117:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 13, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1117


Introduced by Assembly Member Grayson

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 18936 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to building standards. add Article 22 (commencing with Section 8669.7) to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of, and to add and repeal Article 23 (commencing with Section 8669.8) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to peace officers.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1117, as amended, Grayson. Building standards: notice requirements. Peace officers: peer support.
Under existing law, the California Emergency Services Act, the Governor is authorized to proclaim a state of emergency, as defined, under specified circumstances. The California Emergency Services Act also authorizes the governing body of a city, county, city and county, or an official designated by ordinance adopted by that governing body, to proclaim a local emergency, as defined. Existing law provides that a person has a privilege to refuse to disclose, and prevent another from disclosing, a confidential communication with specified persons, except in specified circumstances.
This bill would, until January 1, 2025, create the Peace Officer Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program. The bill would, for purposes of the act, define a “peer support team” as a team composed of emergency service personnel, as defined, hospital staff, clergy, and educators who have been appointed to the team by a Peer Support Labor-Management Committee, as defined, and who have completed a peer support training course, as specified. The bill would provide that a communication made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member while the peer support team member provides peer support services, as defined, is confidential and would prohibit disclosure of such a communication in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding, except under limited circumstances, including, among others, when disclosure is reasonably believed to be necessary to prevent death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime, or when disclosure is reasonably believed to be required pursuant to the peer support policy, as specified. The bill would also provide that, except for an action for medical malpractice, a peer support team member providing peer support services as a member of a peer support team is not liable for damages, as specified, relating to an act, error, or omission in performing peer support services, unless the act, error, or omission constitutes gross negligence or intentional misconduct. The bill would further provide that a communication made by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service, as defined, is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding, except as specified.

Existing law requires the California Building Standards Commission to mail notices of meetings with respect to its proposed action on any building standards to specified parties that have submitted a written request for notice, at least 15 days prior to any meeting, as specified.

This bill would additionally require the commission to post those notices on its internet website at least 15 days prior to any meeting, 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.

 Article 22 (commencing with Section 8669.7) is added to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  22. Emergency Service Personnel

8669.7.
 (a) A communication made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member while the peer support team member provides peer support services is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(b) A communication made by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(c) For purposes of this section the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Communication” means all oral communications, information, notes, records, and reports made by emergency service personnel, a peer support team member, or crisis referral service staff, and arising from the delivery of peer support services or crisis referral services.
(2) “Crisis referral services” include all public or private organizations that advise employees and volunteers of agencies employing emergency service personnel about consultation and treatment resources for personal problems, including mental health issues, chemical dependency, domestic violence, gambling, financial problems, and other personal crises. Crisis referral services do not include employee representative organizations, associations, or unions, or agencies owned or operated by employee representative organizations, associations, or unions.
(3) “Critical incident” means an actual or perceived event or situation that involves crisis, disaster, trauma, or emergency.
(4) “Critical incident stress” means the acute or cumulative psychological stress or trauma that emergency service personnel may experience in providing emergency services in response to a critical incident. The stress or trauma is an unusually strong emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or physical reaction that may interfere with normal functioning and could lead to post-traumatic stress injuries, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:
(A) Physical and emotional illness.
(B) Failure of usual coping mechanisms.
(C) Loss of interest in the job or normal life activities.
(D) Personality changes.
(E) Loss of ability to function.
(F) Psychological disruption of personal life, including the person’s relationship with a spouse, child, or friend.
(5) “Emergency service personnel” means a peace officer employed by the state or a city, county, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state.
(6) “Peer support services” include services provided by a peer support team or a peer support team member to emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident or the accumulation of witnessing multiple incidents. Peer support services assist emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident in coping with critical incident stress or mitigating reactions to critical incident stress to reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress injuries.
(7) “Peer support team” means a team or teams composed of emergency service personnel, hospital staff, clergy, and educators who have completed a peer support training course developed pursuant to former Section 8669.84, and who have been appointed to the team by a Peer Support Labor-Management Committee or a site-specific peer support labor-management committee.
(8) “Peer support team member” means an individual who is a member of a peer support team and is specially trained to provide peer support services as a member of a peer support team.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2025, and shall only apply to communications made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member, or by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service, between January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2025, pursuant to the former Peace Officer Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program established pursuant to former Article 23 (commencing with Section 8669.8).

SEC. 2.

 Article 23 (commencing with Section 8669.8) is added to Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  23. Peace Officer Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program

8669.8.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Peace Officer Peer Support and Crisis Referral Services Pilot Program.

8669.81.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Communication” means all oral communications, information, notes, records, and reports made by emergency service personnel, a peer support team member, or crisis referral service staff, and arising from the delivery of peer support services or crisis referral services.
(b) “Crisis referral services” include all public or private organizations that advise employees and volunteers of agencies employing emergency service personnel about consultation and treatment resources for personal problems, including mental health issues, chemical dependency, domestic violence, gambling, financial problems, and other personal crises. Crisis referral services do not include employee representative organizations, associations, or unions, or agencies owned or operated by employee representative organizations, associations, or unions.
(c) “Critical incident” means an actual or perceived event or situation that involves crisis, disaster, trauma, or emergency.
(d) “Critical incident stress” means the acute or cumulative psychological stress or trauma that emergency service personnel may experience in providing emergency services in response to a critical incident. The stress or trauma is an unusually strong emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or physical reaction that may interfere with normal functioning and could lead to post-traumatic stress injuries, including, but not limited to, one or more of the following:
(1) Physical and emotional illness.
(2) Failure of usual coping mechanisms.
(3) Loss of interest in the job or normal life activities.
(4) Personality changes.
(5) Loss of ability to function.
(6) Psychological disruption of personal life, including the person’s relationship with a spouse, child, or friend.
(e) “Emergency service personnel” means a peace officer employed by the state or a city, county, city and county, district, or other political subdivision of the state.
(f) “Peer support services” include services provided by a peer support team or a peer support team member to emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident or the accumulation of witnessing multiple incidents. Peer support services assist emergency service personnel affected by a critical incident in coping with critical incident stress or mitigating reactions to critical incident stress to reduce the risk of post-traumatic stress injuries. Peer support services include all of the following:
(1) Precrisis education.
(2) Critical incident stress defusings.
(3) Critical incident stress debriefings.
(4) On-scene support services.
(5) One-on-one support services.
(6) Consultation.
(7) Referral services.
(8) Confidentiality obligations.
(9) The impact of toxic stress on health and well-being.
(10) Grief support.
(11) Substance abuse identification and approaches.
(12) Active listening skills.
(g) “Peer Support Labor-Management Committee” means a committee, created by an employer that elects to create a peer support program. The committee shall be composed of an equal number of representatives of the employer and the employees. The members of the committee who are employees shall be appointed by the employee organization that represents the majority of the participants in the peer support program. The Peer Support Labor-Management Committee of an employer operating statewide may agree upon additional, site-specific peer support labor-management committees as are deemed necessary for the effective operation of the program.
(h) “Peer support program” means a program to deliver peer support services to an agency’s employees consistent with this article and governed by peer support policies established by the Peer Support Labor-Management Committee and overseen by a peer support team clinician.
(i) “Peer support team” means a team or teams composed of emergency service personnel, hospital staff, clergy, and educators who have completed a peer support training course developed pursuant to Section 8669.84, and who have been appointed to the team by a Peer Support Labor-Management Committee or a site-specific peer support labor-management committee.
(j) “Peer support team clinician” means a licensed clinical professional who is a physician or psychologist designated to oversee a peer support program.
(k) “Peer support team member” means an individual who is a member of a peer support team and is specially trained to provide peer support services as a member of a peer support team.

8669.82.
 (a) A communication made by emergency service personnel or a peer support team member while the peer support team member provides peer support services is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a communication described in subdivision (a) may only be disclosed under the following circumstances:
(1) The peer support team member reasonably must make an appropriate referral of the emergency service personnel to, or consult about the emergency service personnel with, another member of the peer support team or a peer support team clinician associated with the peer support team.
(2) The peer support team member reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary to prevent death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime.
(3) The peer support team member reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary pursuant to the peer support policies established by the Peer Support Labor-Management Committee.
(4) The emergency service personnel or the legal representative of the emergency service personnel expressly agrees in writing that the emergency service personnel communication may be disclosed.
(c) If the communication is disclosed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (b), a peer support team member shall notify the emergency service personnel of the disclosure in writing.

8669.83.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), emergency service personnel who provide peer support services as a member of a peer support team and have completed a training course described in Section 8669.84 shall not be liable for damages, including personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, or other loss related to an act, error, or omission in performing peer support services, unless the act, error, or omission constitutes gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to an action for medical malpractice.

8669.84.
 (a) The Office of Emergency Services shall contract to develop and deliver a peace officer peer support training course and review and approve existing curriculum that meets the standards established in this article, that a peer support team member shall complete to provide peer support services for peace officers and to be eligible for the protections of this article.
(b) The peace officer peer support training course shall be developed in consultation with individuals and organizations knowledgeable about peace officer peer support services.
(c) The contract shall provide for the delivery of training through contracts with state, local, and regional public safety agencies.

8669.85.
 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a communication made by emergency service personnel to a crisis hotline or crisis referral service is confidential and shall not be disclosed in a civil, administrative, or arbitration proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a crisis hotline or crisis referral service may only disclose confidential information communicated by emergency service personnel to prevent reasonably certain death, substantial bodily harm, or commission of a crime.

8669.86.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

SECTION 1.Section 18936 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
18936.

(a)The commission shall mail notices of meetings with respect to its proposed action on any building standards to any design profession organizations, chambers of commerce, consumer groups, building and construction industry organizations, governmental agencies, and other parties and organizations that have submitted a written request to receive notice, at least 15 days prior to any meeting on the proposed action on any building standards. Failure to mail a notice pursuant to this subdivision shall not invalidate any action by the commission.

(b)The commission shall post any notice of meeting mailed pursuant to subdivision (a) on its internet website at least 15 days prior to any meeting on the proposed action on any building standards. Failure to post the notice on the commission’s internet website shall not invalidate any action by the commission.