Prepare for New Laws in effect 2014
CALA members should make plans now to comply with new laws that take effect January 1, 2014. CALA has prepared summaries of the new laws, and DSS is expected to release its implementation plans prior to the end of the year or soon after. CALA will alert members as soon as additional information becomes available.
- Absentee Notification Plan
- Employers Can’t Prohibit Voluntary CPR Attempts
- Increase in Fines for Interfering with the Ombudsman
- New Law Adds LGBT Issues to RCFE Administrator Training Requirements
- Expanded Protections for RCFE Residents and Employees
- New Law Changes RCFE Billing Practices When a Resident Passes Away
Legislative Update 12/6/13
SB 745, relating to smoke alarms, was recently signed into law by Governor Brown. The bill includes new requirements for smoke alarm batteries and mandates manufacturers to disclose certain product information and incorporate specific features into their smoke alarms. For more details, please read this information bulletin from California State Fire Marshal.
AB 10 (Alejo) – California’s Minimum Wage to Increase
AB 10 (Alejo) increases California’s minimum wage from $8 to $9 on July 1, 2014, and to $10 on January 1, 2016. This is the first increase in the state’s hourly minimum wage since 2008, when it was increased by 50 cents to $8. While the federal minimum for hourly wages is $7.25, California is one of 18 states and the District of Columbia to exceed the federal requirement. When California’s minimum wage reaches $10 in 2016, it is projected to be among the highest in the nation. About 1.5 million of California’s full-time, year-round workers, or about 14 percent of the state’s workforce, will experience an increase in pay from the new law.
AB 581(Ammiano) – Retaliation Bill Signed
AB 581 (Ammiano) prohibits an ARF, RCFE, or RCFE-CI licensee or staff from discriminating or retaliating against a resident who has filed a complaint, grievance, or request for inspection with DSS or with a local or state ombudsman. The bill also prohibits an ARF, RCFE, or RCF-CI licensee or staff from discriminating or retaliating against a fellow staff person if the staff person has participated in the filing of a complaint, grievance, or request for inspection with DSS or investigation with a local or state ombudsman. After working to obtain amendments that clarified the role of the ombudsman, CALA supported the final form of this bill.
AB 241 (Ammiano), relating to labor standards for domestic work employees, was signed into law on September 26, 2013. This law enacts the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, effective until January 1, 2017, that will regulate the work hours of certain domestic work employees and provide an overtime compensation rate for those employees. Since CALA worked with Assembly Member Ammiano to secure an amendment to clearly exempt RCFEs, this law will not impact RCFE staff.
AB 918 (Cooley), relating to emergency preparedness, was signed into law on August 28th, 2013. This new law requires the California Office of Emergency Services to update the State Emergency Plan on or before July 31, 2015. The plan must now include proposed best practices for local governments and nongovernmental entities that are used to mobilize and evacuate people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs during an emergency or natural disaster.
AB 937 (Wieckowski), concerning the personal rights of conservatees, was signed into law on August 19, 2013. Existing law states that a guardian or conservator of a person is responsible for the care, custody, control, and education of a ward or conservatee, subject to a court's determination of the extent of those powers, as specified. This new law provides that the conservator's control of the conservatee shall not extend to personal rights retained by the conservatee, including, but not limited to, the right to receive visitors, telephone calls, and personal mail, unless specifically limited by a court order.
SB 609 (Wolk) – Ombudsman Bill Signed
SB 609 (Wolk) increases the fine for willful interference with a long-term care ombudsman from $1000 to $2500 and allows for a portion of those funds to support local programs. CALA will continue to work with the Ombudsman Association and the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Office on issues relating to fines and corresponding administrative procedures.
SJR 4 (Monning), a measure to reauthorize the federal Older American Act of 1965, was signed into law on May 20, 2013. The reauthorization of this act will allow for the continued funding of programs and services for older Americans.
AB 707 (Ting) pertaining to “SENIOR” warning sign placement outside of buildings primarily used by seniors, was signed into law on September 6, 2013. Previously, a local authority was not required to erect the warning sign, which requires drivers passing the building to reduce speeds to 25 miles per hour, unless it collected private donations to cover its cost. This new law permits a local authority to erect a standard “SENIOR” warning sign when it determines it necessary and allows the local authority to request grant funding or funds from the Pedestrian Safety Account to pay for the sign.
AB 247 (Wagner) – Tax Checkoffs Extended
AB 247 (Wagner) allows the California Fund for Senior Citizens to remain on the personal income tax (PIT) return through the 2019 taxable year. This fund finances the Senior Legislature which convenes for one week each fall at the State Capitol. CALA supported this bill. .
AB 394 (Yamada) allows the California Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Research Fund to remain on the PIT through the 2019 taxable year. Since its inception in 1988, this fund has raised over $11.3 million for Alzheimer’s research and outreach. CALA supported this bill.
AB 261 (Chesbro) – Signed by the Governor
AB 261 (Chesbro) brings clarity to an RCFE billing practice after a resident has died. Specifically, this bill prohibits advance notice for terminating the admission agreement due to death of the resident, requires that fees stop once the belongings have been removed from the resident’s apartment, and provides a timeframe for any refund that would be due. AB 261 provides clarity to licensees and gives families flexibility to manage the moving process as they choose and on their own timeline.
AB 364 (Calderon) – Inspection Frequency Bill Stalled Due to Costs
AB 364 (Calderon) was held in Assembly Appropriations Committee due to the estimated $7 million cost to CCLD. CALA continues to support this bill and the goal of biennial inspections.
AB 462 (Stone) which would require sprinklers in 6-bed RCFEs and ARFs, failed to pass out of its first committee. Legislators were concerned about the cost of installation for the small RCFEs, especially those serving residents on SSI/SSP, and a possible reduction in available housing for people with disabilities. Disability Rights California and Community Residential Care Association of California were opposed. CALA had negotiated amendments to delete the requirement that the licensee pay the property owner one year in advance of the installation. CALA has a long-standing support position on efforts to require sprinklers in RCFEs given the needs of the population served.
AB 633 (Salas) – CPR Bill Signed
AB 633 (Salas) prohibits employers from having a policy that prohibits employees from voluntarily providing CPR. The bill also has an exception for DNRs and recognizes special situations where trained staff are available to respond. The bill states that the employer does not have a duty to train employees in CPR, thereby providing a degree of immunity to the employer. Since the bill allows an employee to voluntarily administer CPR in an emergency, the employee is covered by the Good Samaritan Law since “voluntary” actions are not “for compensation.”
AB 663 (Gomez) – LGBT Sensitivity Training Required
AB 663 (Gomez) adds training on LGBT issues to the “uniform core of knowledge” required for RCFE and ARF administrator certification and requires ombudsman training to include LGBT issues as well. CALA obtained requested amendments and was able to support the final version of the bill.
New laws go into effect on January 1st of each year. It can take years, however, for the new statutory requirements to be reflected in RCFE regulations. Some changes are “self-implementing” and never go into regulation. This member’s only section of the CALA website will keep you informed. CALA archives DSS Chaptered Legislation Implementation Plans accessible by year and topic for members’ convenience.