SB 1205 (Laird), in its original draft, set to expand the statutory right to temporary disability.  The bill stood to enact a new code section which would provide a working injured employee one day of temporary disability indemnity, or a percentage of one day of temporary disability indemnity representative of the percentage of the wages lost while obtaining treatment in relation to a compensable injury, in addition to all reasonable expenses of transportation, meals, and lodging incident to receiving treatment.

On 6/27/24, the Assembly struck the new provision for additional temporary disability, and instead, now would amend LC § 4600 to require an employee, when possible, to make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment outside of work hours. The bill as updated by the Assembly would also require the employee to provide notice to their employer if treatment occurs during work hours, as specified. Furthermore, the bill would require that the leave taken by an employee pursuant to the Labor Code run concurrently with leave taken pursuant to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and the California Family Rights Act if the employee would have been eligible for that leave. Notably, the bill adds that if an employer denies an employee’s request to attend scheduled treatment during regular work hours, the bill would make that denial a violation under the provisions of Section 132a.

As of 6/28/24, SB 1205 is re- referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further review. The bill currently sits at 50% progress.

SB 1346 (Durazo), would to create a statutory exception to the TD cap under LC § 4656. The bill adds subdivision (e) to LC § 4656, which would empower the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board with the discretion to award temporary disability benefits in cases where a denial of treatment requested by a treating physician is subsequently overturned by independent medical review. The bill would limit the temporary disability awarded by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board from exceeding the time from the date of the treatment denial through the date of the independent medical review determination overturning the treatment denial.

As of 5/16/24, SB 1346 is held in committee under submission. The bill is criticized for creating an incentive for injured workers to pursue IMR and WCAB hearings after UR denials. The bill currently sits at 25% progress.

AB 2337 (Dixon), adds to Labor Code §17 a subdivision (b) authorizing the use of electronic records and signatures, including notary public signatures, in WCAB proceedings. It also adds a new subsection (b) to §5003, authorizing electronic signature on compromise and release agreements, and sets terms for establishing the validity of an electronic signature a compromise and release (C&R) agreement.

As of 6/20/24, AB 2337 is pending review with the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill currently sits at 50% Progress.

SB 1058 (Ashby and Cortese), amends Labor Code §4850 to add local law enforcement, firefighters, and probation officers to those peace officers employed by counties as employees entitled to leave of absence without loss of salary while disabled by injury or illness arising out of and in the course of their employment. This bill would expand these provisions to entitle a park ranger employed on a regular full-time basis by a county or special district to this leave of absence.

As of 6/27/24, SB 2337 is undergoing a third reading by the Assembly. The bill currently sits at 50% progress.

SB 1299 (Cortese). As non-substantively amended in the Senate on March 21, amends Labor Code §62.5 and adds a new §3212.81 to create a rebuttable presumption that certain heat-related injuries to agricultural industry employees arose out of and in the course of their employment, with benefits including medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits. The bill would establish a Farmworker Climate Change Heat Injury and Death Fund with a $5 million transfer from the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund (WCARF).

As of 6/26/24, SB 1299 was pending further review by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill cntly sits at 50% progress.