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AB-1384 Local educational agencies: liability for COVID-19-related injuries.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 07/29/20 - Amended Senate Compare Versions information image


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) All of California’s public school pupils deserve and need safe and supportive school environments in which to learn.
(b) The COVID-19 pandemic has required significant changes impacting public schools throughout the state and nationwide, including the temporary closings of school facilities to limit contact and achieve social distancing.
(c) Because of the uncertainty and fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic and response thereto, federal, state, county, and local regulations and orders and public health guidelines have changed and developed over time.
(d) Creating safe learning environments in a manner that gives due consideration to current COVID-19 regulations, orders, and guidelines is critical for the state and its residents.
(e) Subjecting public schools to costly litigation and liability exposure by reopening and operating during the COVID-19 pandemic would divert scarce public resources from providing pupils with educational instruction, meals, and other essential resources.

SEC. 2.

 Article 3 (commencing with Section 32315) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 19 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  3. Liability for COVID-19-Related Injuries
32315.
 (a) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “COVID-19 pandemic” refers to the time period during which a state or local declaration of emergency exists related to the outbreak and spread of the illness commonly referred to as COVID-19.
(2) “Local educational agency” means a school district, a county office of education, a joint powers authority consisting entirely of school districts and county offices of education, a charter school, the California Schools for the Deaf, or the California School for the Blind.
(b) (1) During the COVID-19 pandemic, a governing board of a local educational agency, or its designee, shall establish health and safety policies and procedures for operating programs and facilities in a manner consistent with applicable federal, state, and local requirements and COVID-19-related guidelines published by the State Department of Public Health.
(2) The governing board of a local educational agency, or its designee, shall ensure that reasonable efforts are undertaken to implement the policies and procedures referenced in paragraph (1) and to update them as needed.
(c) (1) There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damage shall arise against, a local educational agency, or its officers or employees, that meets the requirements of subdivision (b) for injury relating to COVID-19 infection, transmission, or the policies and procedures established pursuant to subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, claims for injury or death, notwithstanding any law that might impose that liability, including, but not limited to, any provision contained in Division 3.6 (commencing with Section 810) of Title 1 of the Government Code, and Section 1708 of, and subdivision (a) of Section 1714 of, the Civil Code.
(2) This subdivision shall apply to a cause of action for injury alleged to have been sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(3) This subdivision shall not apply to employee claims for injuries sustained in the course and scope of employment pursuant to Division 4 (commencing with Section 3200) of the Labor Code.
(4) Except as otherwise expressly stated in this subdivision, this subdivision shall not apply to a local educational agency’s existing statutory duties to employees with respect to workplace protections, including, but not limited to, the Educational Employment Relations Act (Chapter 10.7 (commencing with Section 3540) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code), workplace safety, disability and family leave, or employment discrimination.
(5) This subdivision shall not apply to claims for money or damages for gross negligence or for reckless, intentional, or willful and wanton misconduct, to the extent that those claims are permitted under the law existing at the time the claim is made.
(6) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to limit the scope of immunities available under any other law.
SEC. 3.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SECTION 1.

 Section 4970 of the Financial Code is amended to read:

4970.
 For purposes of this division:
(a) “Annual percentage rate” means the annual percentage rate for the loan calculated according to the provisions of the federal Truth in Lending Act and the regulations adopted thereunder by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
(b) “Covered loan” means a consumer loan in which the original principal balance of the loan does not exceed the most current conforming loan limit for a single-family first mortgage loan established by the Federal National Mortgage Association in the case of a mortgage or deed of trust, and where one of the following conditions are met:
(1) For a mortgage or deed of trust, the annual percentage rate at consummation of the transaction will exceed by more than eight percentage points the yield on Treasury securities having comparable periods of maturity on the 15th day of the month immediately preceding the month in which the application for the extension of credit is received by the creditor.
(2) The total points and fees payable by the consumer at or before closing for a mortgage or deed of trust will exceed 6 percent of the total loan amount.
(c) “Points and fees” shall include the following:
(1) All items required to be disclosed as finance charges under Sections 1026.4(a) and 1026.4(b) of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, including the Official Staff Commentary, as amended from time to time, except interest.
(2) All compensation and fees paid to mortgage brokers in connection with the loan transaction.
(3) All items listed in Section 1026.4(c)(7) of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, only if the person originating the covered loan receives direct compensation in connection with the charge.
(d) “Consumer loan” means a consumer credit transaction that is secured by real property located in this state used, or intended to be used or occupied, as the principal dwelling of the consumer that is improved by a one-to-four residential unit. “Consumer loan” does not include a reverse mortgage, an open line of credit as defined in Part 1026 of Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Regulation Z), or a consumer credit transaction that is secured by rental property or second homes. “Consumer loan” does not include a bridge loan. For purposes of this division, a bridge loan is any temporary loan, having a maturity of one year or less, for the purpose of acquisition or construction of a dwelling intended to become the consumer’s principal dwelling.
(e) “Consumer credit transaction” means a loan made to, or an obligation incurred by, a natural person in which the money loaned, the property delivered, or service rendered under the loan or obligation is primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
(f) “Original principal balance” means the total initial amount the consumer is obligated to repay on the loan.
(g) “Licensing agency” shall mean the Bureau of Real Estate for licensed real estate brokers, the Department of Business Oversight for licensed residential mortgage lenders, licensed finance lenders and brokers, and the commercial and industrial banks and savings associations and credit unions organized in this state.
(h) “Licensed person” means a real estate broker licensed under the Real Estate Law (Part 1 (commencing with Section 10000) of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code), a finance lender or broker licensed under the California Finance Lenders Law (Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000)), a residential mortgage lender licensed under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (Division 20 (commencing with Section 50000)), a commercial or industrial bank organized under the Banking Law (Division 1.1 (commencing with Section 1000)), a savings association organized under the Savings Association Law (Division 2 (commencing with Section 5000)), and a credit union organized under the California Credit Union Law (Division 5 (commencing with Section 14000)). This division shall not be construed to prevent any enforcement by a governmental entity against any person who originates a loan and who is exempt or excluded from licensure by all of the licensing agencies, based on a violation of any provision of this division. This division shall not be construed to prevent the Bureau of Real Estate from enforcing this division against a licensed salesperson employed by a licensed real estate broker as if that salesperson were a licensed person under this division. A licensed person includes any person engaged in the practice of consumer lending, as defined in this division, for which a license is required under any other provision of law, but whose license is invalid, suspended or revoked, or where no license has been obtained.
(i) “Originate” means to arrange, negotiate, or make a consumer loan.
(j) “Servicer” has the same meaning provided in Section 6 (i)(2) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974.