Workers Comp Zone


With the legislature coming back into session this week, we’ll get a better sense of what workers comp bill are really moving and what is stalling.

In a prior post I noted the particularly heated debate over a bill to require fitted rather than flat sheets in hotels, a bill aimed at reducing housekeeper injuries at hotels.

AB 1136 (Swanson) is also under consideration. This bill, aimed at reducing
hospital worker lifting injuries, would require lift equipment or special lifting teams. Many hospital workers and nurses are injured in the process of moving or turning patients.

Both of these bills would undoubtedly save back-end money, i.e. workers’ comp costs. So would aggressive Cal-OSHA enforcement in many industries.

But California’s Cal-OSHA program is woefully understaffed, and Federal budget cutbacks and California’s deteriorating budget outlook do not bode well for such regulatory agencies.

In a perfect world it would probably be better to deal with these issues through the OSHA regulatory process. But that’s complicated, and thus we have these bills being pushed.

Here’s a good piece by Patrick McGreevey, “Bill Would require Fitted Sheets at Hotels to Protect Housekeepers”, from today’s Los Angeles Times: … rint.story

Brown would probably like to support these, advanced by some of his friends in California organized labor, including nurses and hotel workers. And hotels and hospitals are not the kinds of industries that can choose to move to less regulated states such as Texas or Nevada.

But one can imagine the headlines that will appear on the Drudge Report if such bills are enacted, “California government intrudes into your hotel room”.

To see how this all comes out,stay tuned.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments