Should the COVID-19 Presumption Be Permanent?

The Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee passed on a 4-1 vote a bill to extend several rebuttable presumptions to frontline workers in acute care hospitals, including a permanent presumption for COVID-19 infections. The bill, SB 213 by committee chair Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), covers a range of infectious diseases, cancers, musculoskeletal injuries, … Read More »

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More Presumption Bills

The Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement committee advanced without opposition a bill to expand an existing workers’ comp presumption for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It will provide the presumption to more public safety officers and others involved in emergency response. Legislators also amended another presumption bill to expand coverage and yet another to make … Read More »

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DIR Director Hagen’s Appointment Clears Senate Rules Committee

Katrina Hagen, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointee to head the California Department of Industrial Relations, easily cleared the Senate Rules Committee, but not before facing questioning about key workers’ comp and workplace safety issues. Notably, Hagen (see photo) was asked about pending updates to the state’s med-legal fee schedule, copy service fee schedule, and the rapidly … Read More »

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Conoravirus Death Claims

California’s workers’ compensation system has received reports for 59,559 cases alleging a workplace injury due to COVID-19. But nearly 30%, some 17,690, tested negative and were rejected.  The filings equal 11% of all workers’ comp claims so far this year but the number is only 8% after the rejected are removed. The concentration of COVID-19 … Read More »

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CHSWC Commissioners Pull Study Over Labor’s Concerns

Instead of approving the adoption of a research report on musculoskeletal injuries among California firefighters, the Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) instead pulled the study from its website. Commissioners are now demanding a new tete-a-tete with the report’s authors. Labor representatives to the Commission prompted the move because of  concerns about the … Read More »

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Spotlight on Providers’ Adherence To Treatment Guidelines

A new law will soon shine a spotlight on the workers’ comp doctors who are frequently recommending treatments that do not adhere to California’s evidence-based medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS). The legislation, SB 537 by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), calls on the Division of Workers’ Compensation to list the active providers in the system … Read More »

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Temp Workers and Workers’ Comp

New studies indicate that temp workers are likely to have a more significant loss of income following an industrial injury than their direct-hire counterparts in the same lines of work. However, the same research shows that workers’ comp benefits and settlements are making up for these additional losses to keep them on an even footing … Read More »

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