New laws target employee health

| Oct 9, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination |

People in any industry or type of job may experience a work-related accident or develop an illness associated with their employment. Regardless of the situation, employees facing these things deserve help and support.

The Governor of California recently signed two new pieces of legislation into law. Both aim to improve protections for employees in the face of work-related disease or illness. As reported by, another goal of the new laws may be to support California Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s efforts to enforce their authority in these matters.

Prompt notification of disease outbreak

One bill signed by the Governor, Assembly Bill 685, moves to require efficient and timely reporting to local health officials and impacted employees about any pandemic-related outbreak in the workplace. Prompt knowledge of these events is important to allow people the opportunity to be tested and take care of themselves properly.

This law in particular may support Cal/OSHA’s ability to expedite the delivery of citations related to the pandemic and to suspend operations at one or more company sites if a virus-related danger exists within the organization.

Improved access to workers’ compensation benefits

The second bill, Senate Bill 1159, paves the way for employees in select fields to more easily and efficiently claim and receive workers’ compensation benefits related to a positive COVID-19 test following a known outbreak of the virus in their workplace. SB1159 may apply to workers in health care settings.

The workers’ compensation benefits associated with these claims may include financial payments to compensate for lost earnings as well as payments for medical care and treatment.


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