Workers Comp Zone


Governor Newsom has already signed several 2019 bills that will impact California workers’ comp, and a raft of other bills await his attention.

But now seems a good time to take stock of what did not make the grade this legislative session. Here’s a quick list for the workers’ comp junkies out there:

AB 416 (Hueso) This bill appears to have been held in the Assembly at the end of the session. It would have expanded the presumptions of work-related injuries and illness to certain classifications of peace officers that are not currently covered by presumptions. Here is the link to the text and Senate analysis of the bill:

SB 567 (Caballero) This bill, sponsored by the California Nurses Association, aimed to create a series of  industrial injury presumptions for acute hospital employees that prescribe direct patient care. It failed a committee vote in April 2019.

SB 731 (Bradford) SB 731 never advanced out of the Assembly Insurance Committee after May 2019. The bill would have prohibited the reduction or apportionment of permanent disability benefits on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or genetics. A similar bill (SB 899) was vetoed by Governor Brown in 2018.

AB 932 (Low) Aimed at providing benefits to firefighters injured in the October 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, the bill did not move beyond Senate committee after May 2019.

AB 1107 (Chu) This bill would have provided that an IMR decision is not conclusive evidence on whether a treatment was unreasonably delayed or denied. The author apparently intended this bill to be a vehicle for stakeholder discussions, but it did not advance.

AB 1360 (Ting) A bill that would have regulated third party food delivery platforms (many of which platforms are now probably subject to AB 5), it advanced til September but on 9/14/19 was “ordered to inactive file at the request of Senator Bradford”.

AB 1750 (Burke) This bill did not move past April 2019. It would have required the Department of Rehabilitation to issue reports on the extent to which injured full time employees were rehabilitated or retrained and rehired for other positions in public service.

AB 1832 (Salas) This was a bill to change payments to QMEs. Possible revisions to how QMEs are paid for their evaluations and reporting has been a major issue in the system for the past several years, and has been the subject of two highly contested online forums. AB 1832 was not put into print until July 2019 and never received a committee hearing.

In coming weeks I’ll be blogging about the bills that Governor Newsom signs (or vetoes). Stay tuned.

Julius Young