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Bill would mandate immediate reporting of worker injuries, illnesses

Injured worker

California’s Assembly passed a bill modifying reporting requirements for occupational injuries and illnesses in the state on Monday, the first day lawmakers reported back to Sacramento for the state’s 2019-2020 legislative season.

A.B. 1804, which passed the state’s Senate on July 1, would require employers to notify the California Department of Industrial Relations by telephone or through a “specified online mechanism established by the division” immediately after an occupational injury or illness. The legislation would also fine employers who fail to comply with a civil penalty not less than $5,000.

In addition, the legislation stipulates that employers file a complete report of every occupational injury or illness that results in lost time or requires medical treatment beyond first aid with the DIR and/or insurer within five days of the employer’s knowledge of the injury or illness. The legislation would also require that the injured employee’s Social Security number be listed on the report, and that if the insurer is the entity notified first, that the insurer, upon receipt, provide the Department of Industrial Relations with a copy of the report.

If an employee died of the illness or injury after the report was filed, the employer would have to file an amended report indicating the death with the department within five days of being made aware of the death.

If California Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the bill, it would become law at the beginning of 2020.

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