Firefighter Backed Laws Including Workers Comp Changes Going into Effect in 2019
The California Professional Firefighters Association (CPF) is actively engaged in sponsoring and promoting legislation that serves to protect firefighters’ health and safety, ensure that surviving family members of fallen firefighters are taken care of, and increase public safety in general. The 2018 legislative session contained a large number of pro-firefighter bills that were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Some of these laws directly impacted firefighter workers’ compensation benefits.
For more than four decades our attorneys have devoted their careers to obtaining benefits for the brave firefighters and safety officers of Orange County, Los Angeles County and the surrounding municipalities. In this article our Workers Comp attorneys explain the exciting and progressive new CPF backed legislation going into effect January 1. 2019.
Here are some of the measures that Governor Brown signed into law, which take effect on January 1, 2019.
Firefighter and Other Safety Officer Workers Comp Protection
SB 1086 ensures that families of firefighters and public safety workers are not “timed out” from filing for workers’ compensation claims when an officer’s death is the result of occupational cancer, tuberculosis, or a blood-borne infectious disease. Prior to 2015, the statute of limitations on filing a claim was 240 weeks. In 2015, the time limit was extended to 420 weeks, but only until January 1, 2019.
SB 1086 makes the 420-week timeframe permanent, which is vital given the reality that often, these work-related illnesses aren’t diagnosed until far later than the initial exposure. SB 1086 honors the service and sacrifice given by firefighters and public service workers by ensuring that their families don’t fall through an arbitrary crack in eligibility rules for survivor death benefits.
Ease of Public Access to Workers’ Comp Data
AB 2334 makes it easier to access workers’ compensation data as it relates to public self-insured employers.
Education Benefits for Survivors of Deceased Firefighters
AB 2554 provides free college tuition at UC, CSU and California community colleges for survivors of California federal firefighters who die in the line of duty.
AB 2990, closely related to AB 2554, requires California public colleges to provide easily accessible information about fallen firefighter survivor higher education benefits on their websites.
Other Firefighter Backed Legislation
AB 2998 prohibits the sale of mattresses, children’s products and upholstered furniture that contain toxic-flame retardant chemicals.
Firefighters’ Workers Comp Attorneys
Our attorneys carefully monitor new and upcoming legislation and legal trends that relate to protecting and serving our firefighters – the very ones who so ably and selflessly protect and serve us, the public. If you are a firefighter, police officer, public service worker or a family member, we are always available to consult with you to ensure that your rights are protected and that you are receiving the benefits available to you.
Our attorneys offer nothing but gratitude and admiration for the bravery and selflessness of our firefighters. We also support the fine work of the California Professional Firefighters Association (CPF).
If you or your family member was injured in the course of fighting the recent California wildfires – or in any other liner of duty – our workers’ compensation attorneys will be glad to advise you of your best avenue for recovering lost wages and to ensure that your medical and rehabilitation costs are covered.