Pacific Workers Comp Law Center - December 2019

Pacific Post Prep for the Winter and Beyond How New Laws and the Holiday Season Will Impact You December 2019

As we welcome the new year, it’s a time to focus on loved ones and all we have endured through the year, but it’s also a time to prep for the future beyond. As the holiday season progresses, it will be harder to schedule doctors’ appointments, and employment laws will be enacted that will impact our local judicial system.

SB 542: First Responders Workers’ Comp

First responders, including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, will now be able to gain workers’ compensation for the treatment of their post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to on-the-job experiences. The first responders’ diagnosis of PTSD has to be under the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. The bill will fully be enacted Jan. 1, 2020, and will be in effect through Jan. 1, 2025. However, a first responder will only receive these benefits after six months of service or after experiencing an extraordinary employment condition. After the employee’s term of service, they are still eligible for workers’ comp for treatment of PTSD for a period of three calendar months per full year of service. The period of eligibility will not exceed 60 calendar months under any circumstances. AB 749 voids all “no hire” agreements within settlements, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Any settlements signed on Jan. 1 and from that point forward will restrict an employee from returning to their place of work. The new bill does have some notable exceptions, however. One poignant exception is if the employer has made a good-faith determination that the employee in question has been involved with sexual harassment or assault. The law also doesn’t necessarily require the employer to rehire the employee. If the employer has a legitimate nondiscriminatory or unrelated reason not to rehire an individual, they may exercise that right. AB 749: Settlement Agreements

doctor’s offices will fill fast during December due to benefits expiring by the end of the year. Doctors will also use this time for vacations since it’s the holiday season. Try to schedule your December doctors’ appointments in the first week of November or sooner to avoid any unnecessary scheduling headaches. If you feel like these laws affect you in some way or you need assistance in finding a doctor for your injuries, call us at (833) 722-9675 or visit our website at PacificWorkers.com so we can discuss them. “AB 749 voids all ‘no hire’ agreements within settlements, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Any settlements signed on Jan. 1 and from that point forward will restrict an employee from returning to their place of work.”

Holiday Doctors’ Appointments

Whether your doctor’s appointment is time-sensitive or if it’s a regular checkup, it’s imperative to schedule it as soon as you can. In general,

– The Lawyers For Injured Workers

833-722-9675 • 1

www.pacificworkers.com

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