Return-To-Work Fund Edged Towards Full Expenditure Before Pandemic

The Baker SB 863 workers’ comp reforms created a special $120 million fund to give supplemental payments to injured employees who could not return to their at-injury employer. Eligible injured employees who apply get $5,000 each, but the program has never spent all that it has to give. Could this be the year? Not likely, … Read More »

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Hiring Authority Restored at Industrial Relations

The California Department of Industrial Relations is back in charge of recruiting, testing, and hiring its staff. The State Personnel Board voted unanimously to restore the authority it revoked following controversies surrounding a flawed exam process for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health inspectors. DIR lost its ability to independently run civil service examinations … Read More »

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TMI?

On February 17, the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) announced the creation of an Employer Portal for COVID-19 industry guidance. Per the LWDA, the Portal is, “…a one-stop hub … Read More »

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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Budget Proposal Includes COVID-19 Related Positions For DIR

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a proposed $227.2 billion state budget that includes emergency COVID-19 relief funding for businesses and unemployed Californians. The budget also calls for an extra $8.7 million to fund 43 new positions at the Department of Industrial Relations to implement chaptered legislation related to the pandemic and expanded worker protections. The $227.2 … Read More »

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Workers’ Comp 2021 Assessments Reach Record Levels

The Department of Industrial Relations has announced the 2021 assessment on employers.  The message is that it needs nearly $36 million more from California’s already beleaguered to fund its operations. The total assessment required to support these operations is now in excess of $1.1 billion. Employers are spared again what used to be a standard … Read More »

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All I Want For Christmas

The 2020 Holiday Season will not be a particularly festive one for employers in California. The reasons are many and varied – most centered on the ongoing personal and economic … Read More »