This is the final article in a series of five addressing new employment-related laws for 2018. Today we take a look at workplace safety and workers’ compensation.
SB 258 establishes the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act. It requires manufacturers of designated cleaning products to disclose the chemicals in those products and create product safety data sheets. Designated cleaning products include general cleaning, air care, automotive, or polish or floor maintenance products used primarily for janitorial, industrial or domestic cleaning purposes.
SB 258 affects employers that have these designated cleaning products in their workplaces. Under the existing Hazard Communications Program (which requires all employers to communicate workplace hazards to employees, particularly when employees handle or may be exposed to hazardous substances during normal work or foreseeable emergencies) standard, employers are required to maintain and make readily accessible safety data sheets providing information about hazardous substances. SB 258 will require employers to also obtain information from manufacturers about the cleaning products covered under this Act and make those safety data sheets available.
As for workers’ compensation, several bills were signed into law in 2018:
AB 44 requires employers to provide a nurse case manager to employees injured during the course of employment by an act of domestic terrorism. Employer-appointed nurse case managers will act as advocates to help injured workers obtain medically necessary medical treatments. This bill will also require an employer to provide a notice to claimants that will be developed by the Division of Workers’ Compensation. These provisions are applicable only if the governor declares a state of emergency in connection with an act of domestic terrorism.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation will adopt regulations to implement this new law, including regulations on the scope and timing of the employer’s obligation to provide a nurse case manager and the contents of the notice that employers must provide to claimants.
SB 189, which is effective July 1, 2018, clarifies when owners, officers of businesses, members of boards of directors, general partners in a partnership and managing members of LLCs may be excluded from workers’ compensation laws. This bill revisits AB 2883 from 2016, the structure of which was challenging to stakeholders. SB 189 also includes provisions allowing the ability to grandfather in prior waivers.
AB 1422 extends the automatic stay on liens filed by medical providers who are charged with criminal fraud. AB 1422 cleans up issues that resulted from the enactment of SB 1160 in 2016.
SB 489 extends the billing deadline for providers of emergency treatment services from 30 days to 180 days.