CALIFORNIA SB-1159 COVID PRESUMPTIONS, MANDATORY REPORTING & SHORTENED INVESTIGATION PERIOD EXPIRING JANUARY 1, 2024
CALIFORNIA COVID-19 PRESUMPTIONS EXPIRING 1/1/2024
It has been over three and a half years since Governor Newsom enacted Executive Order N-62-20, which granted certain presumptions to workers who contracted the COVID-19 virus. Since that time, Senate Bill 1159 and Assembly Bill 1751 were passed, which created Labor Code sections 3212.86, 3212.87, and 3212.88. These Labor Code sections provided active presumptions for those workers who contracted COVID-19 in the workplace, and these, in turn, shortened the time frames within which administrators must determine the compensability of COVID-19 claims. They also mandated regular reporting of all California employees who tested positive for COVID-19 to our TPA, Intercare Holdings Insurance Services, Inc. (Intercare).
EMPLOYER MANDATED REPORTING
Effective 1/1/2024, employers will no longer be required to report to Intercare via the positive COVID reporting tool “all instances” where employees test positive for the COVID-19 virus. That mandate was enacted pursuant to Labor Code section 3212.88. Its main purpose was to track specific employer locations where COVID-19 “outbreaks” may have taken place, and it came with significant civil penalties (up to $10,000) to those employers who failed to timely report the required information. That requirement will no longer exist after January 1, 2024. However, while employers are no longer required to report all COVID-19 positive test data, we are still required to report any new claims where your employees believe they contracted COVID-19 at work. All claims for work-related injuries and illnesses that warrant treatment beyond first aid must still be reported by contacting Company Nurse at 877.518.6711 to report the incident.
WHAT REMAINS IN EFFECT?
The COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations (CCR Title 8, sections 3205 to 3205.3) remain in effect until February 3, 2025. The Cal/OSHA COVID-19 FAQs site provides up-to-date information on the California Department of Public Health’s Isolation & Quarantine protocols as well as other compliance guidance.