From: Tom Dominguez, President
Re: Workers’ Comp Assembly Bill
Date: January 3, 2018
Today, Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), Chairman of the Assembly Insurance Committee, introduced AB 1749, a bill AOCDS is proudly sponsoring. AB 1749 would clarify that fully-sworn peace officers can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if, while in the midst of pursuit, apprehension, protection or preservation of life or property within or out of the state, the officer suffers injury, disability or death.
As the sponsor of this legislation, we are pursuing this common-sense fix to the California Labor Code, because it’s simply the right thing to do. During the Las Vegas mass shooting, several AOCDS members who were off-duty deputy sheriffs and District Attorney investigators, heroically brought themselves and others to safety, then automatically returned to the killing field to save more lives. These sworn law enforcement officers’ training and instincts to save lives immediately kicked in when the gunfire erupted. These members, along with all the other members of law enforcement, are true heroes.
One AOCDS member, Deputy Joe Owen of Yorba Linda Police Services, brought concert-goers to safety, then returned to the melee to help more people. He was performing CPR when he was shot in the abdomen and thigh. Our deputies acted heroically, exactly what they were sworn to do; however, when it came time for them to get the care and/or compensation they rightly deserve, the County objected, saying the law didn’t provide a remedy for these officers, because the incident took place out of state. That should not be the case and we are seeking to fix that. In state or out of state, our officers are never off duty. The public reasonably expects us to act in these situations. If we are injured, are disabled or die as a result, the appropriate remedy should be provided. It’s only fair.
AB 1749 will be eligible to be heard in February in the California Assembly Insurance Committee. We will keep you posted on any developments.