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California first responders can collect comp if injured off duty

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California police officers and firefighters injured while responding to emergencies when not on official duty and out of state will be able to collect workers compensation benefits, according to one of the four comp-related bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday.

Under A.B. 1749, it will be up to the first responder’s “employing agency” whether an injury suffered out of state is compensable, according to the law that was introduced earlier this year in response to the California officers injured while providing assistance to Las Vegas first responders following the mass shooting there in October 2017.

Gov. Brown also signed into law the following bills:

• A.B. 2046, which forces governmental agencies involved in combating workers compensation fraud to share data, among other changes to anti-fraud efforts.

• S.B. 880 allows employers to pay indemnity benefits with a prepaid credit card.

• S.B. 1086 eliminates a law that provides an extended statute of limitations for workers compensation death benefits payable to the survivors of public safety officers who die as a result of work-related cancer or other specified diseases.

Gov. Brown also vetoed five comp-related bills, including a bill that would have defined janitors as employees and not contractors; a bill that would have created an anti-fraud unit within the Division of Workers’ Compensation, an issue Gov. Brown stated in his veto is “already underway”; a bill that would have called for the “complete” disbursement of $120 million in return-to-work program funds annually; a bill that would have excluded race, gender and national origin in determining apportionment, a measure Gov. Brown called “unnecessary” in his veto statement; and a bill that would have required treating physicians to assign a set of impairment related to breast cancer. In his veto statement, he called on state Division of Workers’ Compensation to study the issue further.