Workers’ Compensation Law Changes After San Bernardino ShootingBy Kenton Koszdin Law Office on November 3, 2017 | In Workers Compensation
Governor Brown recently signed into law changes to California’s Workers’ Compensation (WC) program. The legislation requires that employers in both the private and public sectors take immediate action in the event an employee is injured in an act of terrorism.
The impetus for the WC change came from the difficulties faced by the survivors of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino. In that tragedy, 14 people were killed with 22 more wounded during a training seminar at the Inland Regional Center, a supportive agency for people with developmental disabilities.
Survivors of the attack faced significant delays – up to a year – and even denials for critical medical treatment. The new law can help mitigate these problems as it requires that employers provide a nurse case manager as well as information of available treatment options to employees injured in an act of terrorism.
The provisions of the new law only apply if the governor declares a state of emergency in connection with an act of terrorism, as happened in the San Bernardino shooting. Under the changed law, medical or psychological treatment must be provided by trained and qualified health-care professionals.
After being introduced, the bill was amended many times. Key provisions that were taken out included a proposal to bypass the utilization review process that employers and WC claims administrators use to determine which treatment to provide.
A spokesperson for the county stated that the new law was modeled based on the process created by the county at the time of the 2015 attack. At that time, the county provided all the injured employees with the immediate services of nurse case managers as well as counsel on medical treatment options.
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