The 2022 legislative season is over. The Legislature had until Aug 31, 2022 to pass bills, and Governor Gavin Newsom had until Sept. 30, 2022 to sign or veto bills. The bills signed by the Governor take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Below is a list of bills affecting California workers' compensation.
Topics: Special Reports, Urgent Reports, California, Laws
Agreed Medical Evaluators (AMEs) have an important role in resolving discovery disputes in the workers' compensations system. Rather than relying on a panel of qualified medical evaluators (QMEs) randomly selected by the Medical Unit, the parties mutually may agree on an AME to resolve any disputed medical issues.
There is a presumption that AMEs are chosen because of their expertise and neutrality. So an AME's opinion ordinarily is followed unless there is a good reason to find the opinion unpersuasive. (Power v. WCAB (1986) 179 Cal. App. 3d 775, 782.)
Topics: Special Reports, AME
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of COVID-19 vaccines to enhance people's ability to resist infection by the virus. Vaccines are widely available, and many employers are deciding whether to require employees to be vaccinated (or incentivize them) as a condition for returning to work. For some employees, however, COVID-19 vaccinations are or will be mandated by the government.
The federal Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it's developing a rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforce is fully vaccinated or that workers who remain unvaccinated produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. In California, certain employees already are required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. California has ordered that all health-care workers must be vaccinated unless they are exempt for religious or medical reasons. It has also ordered all public and private school employees to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week.
Topics: Special Reports, COVID-19, Vaccine, Mandate
The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant financial consequences for many employers and employees. Due to the overall need to protect the public at large from the spread of COVID-19, the state of California and many local governments have issued stay-at-home orders, closing nonessential businesses or allowing them to remain open only if their employees could telecommute. Many businesses were forced to shut down during the stay-at-home orders, and many employees found themselves out of work.
Topics: Announcements, Special Reports, COVID-19
Gund v. County of Trinity: Application of the Exclusive Remedy Rule to Members of the Public Assisting in Active Law Enforcement
On Aug. 27, 2020, in Gund v. County of Trinity, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that highlights what injured workers must give up as part of the compensation bargain.
Topics: Special Reports, COVID-19
Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on March 19, 2020. It requires all individuals living in California to stay home or at their place of residence, except for what are deemed to be essential activities. Services that remain open include grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banks, laundromats and many government and public service functions, including law enforcement, emergency services and utility maintenance and repair.
Topics: Special Reports, COVID-19