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AB-27 Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 12/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB27:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 27


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

December 03, 2018


An act to amend Sections 884 and 888 of, and to add Section 883.5 to, the Labor Code, relating to emergency ambulance employees.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 27, as introduced, Rodriguez. Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act.
Existing law, the Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act, an initiative measure enacted by the voters by Proposition 11 at the November 6, 2018, statewide general election, requires every emergency ambulance employee to annually receive employer-paid training relating to, among other things, responding to active shooter and mass casualty incidents and preventing violence against emergency ambulance employees and patients. Existing law requires the training to be provided free of charge to an emergency ambulance employee and requires the employee to be compensated at the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay while participating in the training.
This bill would additionally require every current emergency ambulance employee, on or before July 1, 2020, and every new employee hired on or after January 1, 2020, within 6 months of being hired, to attend a 6-hour training on violence prevention that includes, among other things, understanding types of anger, proven and effective verbal deescalation skills, and hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and role-playing scenarios. The bill would require an emergency ambulance employee, following the completion of the 6-hour violence prevention training, to receive a one-hour refresher course each calendar year thereafter. The bill would require the training to be provided free of charge to an emergency ambulance employee and would require the employee to be compensated at the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay while participating in the training.
Under existing law, every emergency ambulance employee is entitled to employer-paid mental health services through an employee assistance program (EAP). Existing law requires the EAP coverage to provide up to 10 mental health treatments per issue, per calendar year.
This bill would require an emergency ambulance employee who requests mental health treatment for critical incident stress management, as defined, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to receive in-person treatment from a qualified professional who is trained in the areas of critical incident stress management or PTSD.
The act permits amendment by the Legislature by a 4/5 vote of each house if the amendment is consistent with, and furthers the purposes of, the act.
Vote: FOUR_FIFTHS   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 883.5 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

883.5.
 (a) In addition to the training required by Section 883, on or before July 1, 2020, every current emergency ambulance employee shall attend a six-hour training on violence prevention. An emergency ambulance employee hired on or after January 1, 2020, shall receive the six-hour violence prevention training within the first six months of being hired. The violence prevention training shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Understanding types of anger.
(2) Proven and effective verbal deescalation skills.
(3) Medical causes of violence.
(4) Proper handling of hysterical, intoxicated, mentally ill, and violent persons.
(5) Escape maneuvers from physical assaults.
(6) Hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and role-playing scenarios.
(7) An employee’s rights following a violent or critical incident.
(8) Reporting violent incidents to an employer.
(b) Following the completion of the six-hour violence prevention training, an emergency ambulance employee shall receive a one-hour refresher course each calendar year thereafter.
(c) The training required by this section shall be provided free of charge to an emergency ambulance employee and the emergency ambulance employee shall be compensated at the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay while participating in the training.

SEC. 2.

 Section 884 of the Labor Code is amended to read:
884.

Mental Health.

(a)

884.
 (a) Every emergency ambulance employee shall receive employer-paid mental health and wellness education within 30 days of being hired and shall receive employer-paid mental health and wellness education each calendar year thereafter. Mental health and wellness education shall inform emergency ambulance employees of available mental health treatments and support services and provide general information regarding common mental health illnesses.
(b) (1) Every emergency ambulance employee is entitled to employer-paid mental health services through an employee assistance program (EAP). The EAP coverage shall provide up to 10 mental health treatments per issue, per calendar year.
(2) If an emergency ambulance employee requests mental health treatment under this subdivision for critical incident stress management or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that employee shall receive in-person treatment from a qualified professional who is trained in the areas of critical incident stress management or PTSD.
(c) Every emergency ambulance employee that qualifies for or is eligible to receive employer-provided health insurance shall have access to health insurance plans that offer long-term mental health treatment services.
(d) For purposes of this section, “issue” means episodes of mental health conditions such as conditions, including stress, depression, grief, loss, relationship struggles, substance abuse, parenting challenges, and other mental health conditions as described within the EAP.

SEC. 3.

 Section 888 of the Labor Code is amended to read:
888.

Definitions.

As

888.
 As used in this chapter, all of the following definitions apply:
(a) “Critical incident” means an event that has a significant amount of emotional power sufficient to overwhelm a person’s ability to cope with a situation, including, but not limited to, witnessing suicide, death or serious injury, natural disasters, multiple casualties, traumatic events involving children, or threats to employees.

(a)

(b) “Emergency ambulance employee” means a person who meets both of the following requirements:
(1) Is an emergency medical technician (EMT), dispatcher, paramedic, or other licensed or certified ambulance transport personnel who contributes to the delivery of ambulance services.
(2) Is employed by an emergency ambulance provider.

(b)

(c) “Emergency ambulance provider” means an employer that provides ambulance services, but not including the state, or any political subdivision thereof, in its capacity as the direct employer of a person meeting the description contained in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). (b).

(c)

(d) “Contacted” means receiving a message or directive over a portable communications device that requires a response. A bare requirement to carry a portable communications device and remain reachable does not constitute being “contacted.”

(d)

(e) “Portable communications device” means a pager, radio, station alert box, intercom, cellular telephone, or other communications method.

(e)

(f) “Work shift” means designated hours of work by an emergency ambulance employee, with a designated beginning time and quitting time, including any periods for meals or rest.