California Employment Law Update – December 2018

Delaware Employment Law Update – December 2018
December 3, 2018
Alaska Employment Law Update – December 2018
December 3, 2018
California

Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain on Call During Work Breaks

On November 6, 2018, California voters passed a proposition (Proposition 11) creating the Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act (located at Cal. Labor Code §§ 880 – 890). According to the proposition analysis, private ambulance companies may now continue their current practice of having emergency medical technicians and paramedics stay on-duty during their meal and rest breaks in order to respond to 911 calls. Private ambulance companies would attempt to reschedule meal and rest breaks that are interrupted by a 911 call.

Under the specifics of the act, all emergency ambulance employees are entitled to meal and rest periods as prescribed by the California Industrial Welfare Commission and must be compensated at their regular hourly rate of pay during those periods. Additionally, an emergency ambulance provider:

  • May not require an emergency ambulance employee to take a meal period during the first or last hour of a work shift.
  • Must allow an emergency ambulance employee to space multiple meal periods during a work shift that are at least two hours apart.
  • Must manage staffing at levels sufficient to provide enough inactivity in a work shift for emergency ambulance employees to meet these requirements.

Any meal period that does not comply with these requirements will not be counted towards the meal periods an employee is entitled to during his or her work shift.

The act also requires private ambulance companies to provide emergency workers with the following annual training free of charge and with compensation during the period of required training:

  • Responding to active shooter and mass casualty incidents.
  • Responding to natural disasters.
  • Preventing violence against emergency ambulance employees and patients.

Lastly, every emergency ambulance employee:

  • Must receive employer-paid mental health and wellness education within 30 days of being hired and each calendar year thereafter.
  • Is entitled to employer-paid mental health services through an employee assistance program for up to 10 mental health treatments per issue, per calendar year.
  • Must have access to health insurance plans that offer long-term mental health treatment services.

The law was added to the California Labor Code on November 6, 2018.

Read the act

Cal/OSHA Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

On October 18, 2018, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) issued an amended notice of proposed emergency action to amend Cal. Code Regs. tit. 8, §§ 14300.35 and 14300.41 and thus conform California’s recordkeeping requirements to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program. On November 1, 2018, the California Office of Administrative Law approved the emergency action. Subsequently, the following California employers are now required to submit Form 300A data covering calendar year 2017 by December 31, 2018:

Covered employers should follow the instructions posted at federal OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application website.

See the Cal/OSHA website

Disability Compensation and Paid Family Leave

On September 27, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (S.B. 1123) amending the California Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program to establish a program that will provide up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off work to:

  • Care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner;
  • Bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in connection with foster care or adoption; or
  • Participate in a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of the individual’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the U.S. Armed Forces.

However, the law does not abridge the rights and responsibilities conveyed under the California Family Rights Act or pregnancy disability leave.

The law also specifies:

  • The weekly benefit amount.
  • The maximum amount payable during any disability benefit period for family temporary disability insurance.
  • That no more than six weeks of family temporary disability insurance benefits will be paid within any 12-month period.
  • When a claim for family temporary disability insurance benefits must be filed (by the 41st consecutive day following the first compensable day on which the claim for benefits is made).

The law is effective January 1, 2019; however, it does not become operative until January 1, 2021.

Read CA S.B. 1123 and the law as amended

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