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AB 621 – Workers Compensation Death Benefits
Workers’ compensation currently compensates employees for injuries sustained in the course of employment, which, in the case of the death of an employee, includes a death benefit. Existing law provides, however, that no benefits, except reasonable expenses of burial not exceeding $1,000, shall be awarded under the workers’ compensation laws on account of the death of an employee who is an active member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System, unless the death benefits available under the Public Employees’ Retirement Law are less than the workers’ compensation death benefits. In that case, the surviving spouse and children of the employee are also entitled to the difference between the two death benefit amounts. Existing law exempts local safety members and patrol members, as defined, from this limitation. This bill would expand that exemption to include state safety members, peace officers, and firefighters for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and would apply the exemption for these employees retroactively to January 1, 2019, for injuries not previously claimed or resolved.
(Amends Section 4707 of the Labor Code.)