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California governor vetoes comp, workplace assault bills

Posted On: Oct. 14, 2019 9:19 AM CST

California statehouse

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed two bills Sunday that would have made minor changes to workers compensation and workplace violence reporting.

A.B. 346, which was passed unanimously by the California Assembly and Senate, would have added police officers employed by a school district, county office of education or community college to the list of public employees entitled to a full pay leave of absence if disabled through the course of employment. The state’s current law offers this leave of absence in lieu of temporary disability payments only to certain peace officers, firefighters and a few other specified state and public employees.

The bill would have “significantly” expanded benefits that are negotiated through the collective bargaining process, and this “well-intentioned but costly benefit should be left to local entities that are struggling to balance their priorities,” Gov. Newsom said Sunday in a statement.

S.B. 363 would have required the California Department of State Hospitals, Department of Developmental Services and Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to report the total number of assaults against employees at each facility operated by the respective department quarterly, and include the date of the assault, the job classification of any affected represented employee, the employee’s state bargaining unit designation and the name of the facility at which the incident occurred. This bill also passed both state houses unanimously.

Gov. Newsom said in the statement that he believes “mandating these reporting requirements in state law is unnecessary” and therefore vetoed the bill.