Less workers’ compensation legislation

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 5, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

After last week’s Appropriations hearings the number of bills related to workers’ compensation were minimized.  Among the bills held in the Appropriation Committee until next year were three opposed by CMTA:

    SB 773 (Darrell Steinberg, Speaker pro Tempore, D-Sacramento) Permanent Disability Increase
    Would have provided for increased permanent partial disability benefits for injuries occurring after Jan 1, 2010. It would also have revised the formula for computing payments for injuries causing permanent disability.

    SB 3 (Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles) Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
    Would have provided, starting January 1, 2010, a supplemental job displacement benefit in the form of a voucher for up to $6,000 to cover various reeducation and skill enhancement expenses. The voucher would have expired 2 years after it was furnished to the employee or 5 years after the date of injury, whichever was later. The bill exempted employers who make an offer of reemployment or continued employment from providing vouchers.

    AB 664 (Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley) Hospital Presumption
    Would have provided, with respect to hospital employees, that the term "injury" included a blood-borne infectious disease, neck or back impairment, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that develops or manifests itself during the period of the person's employment with the hospital. These injuries would have been presumed to be work related and treated under the worker’s compensation system.
Still moving in the legislative process are bills that don’t have a direct cost to the state.  They can, however, result in more litigation and increased costs to employers.  They are: 
    SB 186 (Mark DeSaulnier, D-Antioch) Pre-designation of a Physician
    Deletes the Dec. 31, 2009, sunset pertaining to an employee’s pre-designation of a personal physician.

    AB 933 (Paul Fong, D-Mountain View) Utilization Review and California License
    Requires that all physicians performing utilization review in the Workers’ Compensation system be licensed by California state law.

    AB 1093 (Mariko Yamada, D-Davis) Discrimination
    Provides that no workers' compensation claim can be denied solely because the motivation behind what caused the employee's injury or death was related to an unchangeable personal characteristic of that employee. Similar to SB 145 (DeSaulnier).
 
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