AB 2588 – Requires A General Acute Care Hospital Employer To Indemnify Both Employees And Applicants For Employment Providing Direct Patient Care For The Cost Of Any Employer-Provided Or Employer-Required Educational Program Or Training

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies, Fire Watch, Law Enforcement Briefing Room
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers, Public Safety
DATE: Oct 26, 2020

Labor Code Section 2802 generally requires all employers to pay for or reimburse any costs necessary for workers to perform their job duties, and costs incurred by a worker in carrying out the directions of their employer. AB 2588 was enacted in response to practices by some health care employers requiring employment applicants to pay out of pocket for training programs mandated by the employer as a condition of full-time employment. AB 2588 ends this practice by applying Section 2802’s reimbursement requirements to any expense or cost of employer-provided or employer-mandated educational or training for employees providing direct patient care at a general acute care hospital, as well as applicants for such employment. This includes residency programs, orientations, and competency validations.

However, AB 2588 does not require reimbursement for the cost or expense of meeting the requirements for any license, registration, or certification necessary to legally work in a particular position. Nor does it require reimbursement for costs or expenses of any education or training the employee or applicant voluntarily undertakes.

Furthermore, AB 2588 provides that in any civil action brought to enforce this provision, a prevailing plaintiff is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees.

General acute care hospitals should review their required educational programs and training for employees and applicants and make any necessary adjustments to either directly cover the cost of such programs or provide compliant reimbursement procedures for any costs or expenses incurred by a covered employee or applicant.

(AB 2588 adds Section 2802.1 to the Labor Code.)