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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

  


 

 

League of California Cities
1400 K Street, 4th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

California State Association of Counties
1100 K Street, Suite 101
Sacramento, CA 95814

May 2, 2002
 

TO:  

Assembly Member Leonard

RE:  

AB 2131 (Leonard) Workers' compensation: infectious diseases: dependants-OPPOSE

Dear Assembly Member Leonard:

We regret to inform you that the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) are opposed to AB 2131. (Leonard): Workers' Compensation: infectious diseases: dependants.

Existing workers' compensation law generally requires employers to secure the payment of workers' compensation, including medical treatment, for injuries incurred by their employees that arise out of or in the course of employment. Existing law also defines "injury" in the case of the specified state and local firefighting, law enforcement personnel, and patrol members, to include any blood-borne infectious disease that develops or manifests itself during the period while the member is in the service of the governmental entity.

 


This bill would provide that if a person who is a specified state or local firefighting, law enforcement, or patrol member sustains an injury that meets the definition of a blood-borne infectious disease, and a dependant of that person contracts the same disease from the person, the dependant shall be compensated, for the duration of the disease, for all medically necessary health care costs associated with the disease.

This bill subjects public agencies to costly claims that have no job causation.

Current worker compensation legislation places the burden of proof of injury on the employer. This leaves the employer clearly defenseless in rejecting unwarranted claims, especially with regard to employees' dependents. To compensate employees and their dependants based upon presumptive job causation of injury that cannot be validated simply leaves an employer or public agency to accept claims that could be pre-existing.

For the reasons stated above, we are opposed to AB 2131. Please feel free to contact Amy Brown at the League at (916) 658-8279 or Steve Keil at (916) 327-7500. ext 521.

 


Sincerely,

Amy Brown,
League of California Cities

Steve Keil,
California State Association of Counties