Issue 107 - January 2021
Throughout 2020, the California JPIA staff provided consistent, resilient service to its members despite COVID-19 pandemic conditions. In December, staff extended that “here to help” support to the local community, as well. Led by Management Analysts Abraham Han and Courtney Morrison, Administrative Assistant Edith Aviña, and Maintenance Worker Chris Yanonis, Authority employees invoked the spirit of giving with two community service projects: a food drive for the Orangewood Foundation, which supports foster youth in Orange County, and a gift drive for the Los Angeles County Department of Public and Social Services’ Adopt-A-Family Program, which fulfills holiday wishes for low-income families.
“One of the Authority’s core values is teamwork,” said Han. “In 2020, the phrase ‘Resilient Together’ represented not only the Risk Management Educational Forum theme but also a guided inspiration to be a light to others amid uncertainty. By participating in the Orangewood Foundation and Adopt-A-Family service projects, staff affirmed that we seek to be teamwork-oriented in everything that we do.”
Although historically the California JPIA’s staff service projects have involved in-person interaction to not only communicate news of the project with staff but also coordinate project logistics with the host organizations and recipients, this year the pandemic forced most outreach and organization to take place online. Employees also were mindful of appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols, particularly when coordinating the delivery of gifts to the adopted family.
“This year has been different,” said Morrison. “We’ve taken additional precautions to minimize exposure to people while maintaining our focus on teamwork, which is something that’s important to the Authority as an organization. We work together to help people and communities.”
The Orangewood Foundation, based in Santa Ana, provides personal care supplies, groceries and hot meals, transitional housing, life skills workshops, and employment and educational opportunities for almost 2,000 local young people annually. The California JPIA collected nourishing, non-perishable food items such as soup and pasta to fill a holiday table for community members served by the Foundation.
Through their sponsorship of the Los Angeles County Department of Public and Social Services’ Adopt-A-Family Program, Authority employees were matched with a family for whom they fulfilled a holiday wish list including clothing, toys, gift cards, and groceries.
After Yanonis reached out to the family by phone to better understand its situation and its needs, the California JPIA staff discovered a new level of empathy for the family’s story and circumstances. What began as a service project transformed into a mission to bring joy to a family. Employees’ overwhelmingly positive response yielded contributions that far exceeded last year’s total.
“The Authority believes that strong relationships are important,” said Han. “We know this to be true in the relationships we build with our members. And this year we knew it to be true beyond our normal line of work.”Print Article
While an expansive array of records can be sought via a California Public Records Act request, the right to inspect public records is not without limits. The CPRA does not give unlimited access to records that may be exempt from disclosure. Occasionally the public’s right of access must yield to exemptions, such as individual privacy rights and defined privileges. However, transparency remains the goal.
Last year, the California Legislature and courts gave further guidance in balancing the rights of the public with those of the individual, aiming to further transparency when appropriate. The bulk of the new CPRA guidance comes from case law because most of the proposed legislation that would have affected the CPRA was sidelined by of the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the legislation that was proposed may resurface in 2021, such as Senate Bill 776, which would have significantly altered Penal Code section 832.7, subdivision (b) and expanded the public’s right of access to law enforcement records.
New Case Law
Public Agencies May Have to Disclose Peace Officer Records Prepared by Another Agency or Relating to Another Agency’s Employee(s)
In Becerra v. Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco, the First District Court of Appeal held in January 2020 that a public agency cannot withhold peace officer records solely on the basis that they were prepared by another public agency or that they relate to another agency’s employee(s). The case involved requests submitted by the First Amendment Coalition and KQED, Inc. to the California Department of Justice and the California Attorney General for records subject to disclosure under Penal Code section 832.7, subdivision (b) — the provision enacted by SB 1421. The controversial 2019 law makes certain categories of peace officer records disclosable under the CPRA. In response to the requests, the DOJ and AG told the requesters that they would produce “only those non-exempt records, if any, relating to peace officers employed by the Department of Justice” subject to applicable redactions. Records not created by the DOJ and/or concerning officers not employed by the DOJ were withheld. When FAC and KQED sued, the trial court ordered the DOJ and AG to produce all requested records, not just those relating to officers employed by the DOJ.
On appeal, the First District upheld the trial court’s order. Specifically, the court examined both Penal Code section 832.7 and relevant provisions of the CPRA and found that the language of those statutes clearly requires disclosure of all records, not just those prepared by the DOJ or relating to the DOJ’s employee officers. Moreover, the court held that the DOJ and AG’s interpretation of the statutes would not comport with the aims of the CPRA to provide broad access to public records and SB 1421’s aim to meaningfully increase access to peace officer records. Accordingly, the court held that the DOJ and AG could only withhold the records at issue if a CPRA exemption, such as the Government Code section 6255 catch-all exemption, applied to the records. Notably, this gave guidance to local agencies about whether CPRA exemptions would apply to SB 1421 records.
Read more in our Legal Alert, Another SB 1421 Decision Against Law Enforcement Agencies
Disclosure to Public Agency May Defeat Trade Secret Privilege
In Amgen Inc. v. Health Care Services, the Second District Court of Appeal in April held that a disclosure of information to a public agency, even if required by law, may destroy the trade secret privilege. In the case, Amgen Inc. was required by statute to disclose price information to more than 170 drug purchasers. One of those purchasers was the California Correctional Health Care Services, which received a CPRA request from Reuters News for the same information. Amgen filed a reverse-CPRA action against CCHCS, seeking to prevent disclosure of the requested information because it was a trade secret and therefore could not be disclosed under the CPRA. The trial court agreed with Amgen and issued a preliminary injunction barring CCHCS from disclosing the information.
While the appellate court did not address whether the trade secret privilege was appropriately applied to the price information at issue, it repeatedly noted that the initial disclosure to the CCHCS and other purchasers may have destroyed the privilege because the purchasers could obtain economic value from the information and the purchasers could further disseminate this information. Accordingly, the Second District held that the trial court abused its discretion by granting the preliminary injunction.
Read more in our Legal Alert, New Public Records Act Opinion Considers Extent of Trade Secret Privilege
Trial Courts Cannot Condition Intervention in Reverse-CPRA Cases on the Striking of Requests for Attorney’s Fees
In Carlsbad Police Officers Association v. City of Carlsbad, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held in May that interveners in a reverse-CPRA action may be entitled to attorney’s fees. In this case, eight police officer associations filed a petition for writ of mandate seeking to prevent their respective agencies from disclosing police misconduct and use-of-force records under SB 1421. Several media organizations and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others, filed a motion seeking to intervene in the action. The trial court permitted the intervention on the condition they petitioners strike their requests for attorney’s fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5 (California’s private attorney general statute). When the trial court ruled in favor of the interveners on the merits of the case, they appealed the trial court’s ruling about the attorney’s fees. On appeal, the Fourth District reversed and held that forcing the interveners to strike their request for attorney’s fees was unreasonable because it undermines the policy considerations of furthering litigation in the public interest and avoiding delay and multiplicity of suits.
Public Agencies Cannot Charge for Body-Worn Camera Footage Redactions
In National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter v. City of Hayward, the California Supreme Court in May held that public agencies are prohibited from charging a fee to redact police body camera footage in response to a CPRA request. The case involved a CPRA request by the National Lawyers Guild to the City of Hayward, which, in relevant part, sought body-worn camera footage related to a protest over grand jury decisions to not indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, both unarmed African-American men. Hayward charged NLG more than $3,000 to redact medical and police tactic information from body camera footage. NLG sued, arguing that the fee was not permissible. Hayward argued that the fee was the result of about 40 hours of editing and was permitted under Government Code section 6253.9 in the CPRA, which allows local agencies to charge for “data compilation, extraction, or programming.” The trial court sided with NLG, but theThird District Court of Appeal agreed with the City.
The California Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s judgement and analyzed the word “extraction” as used in section 6253.9. The Court determined that, contrary to Hayward’s position, “extraction” meant creating new content and not applying redactions. Accordingly, the Court reaffirmed that local agencies may only charge the costs of duplicating records and not for other ancillary costs, such as document retrieval, inspection and handling of the files. Additionally, the Court considered Hayward’s video editing as merely a more sophisticated version of redactions done with a felt marker on paper and held that Hayward improperly assessed the body-worn camera footage redaction fee.
Read more in our Legal Alert, California Supreme Court: Government Cannot Charge Fee to Redact Police Body Camera Footage
All California State Trial Courts Have Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Over CPRA Cases
In California Gun Rights Foundation v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, the Second District Court of Appeal held that any California state trial court may have jurisdiction over a CPRA lawsuit, even though venue may not be proper under the CPRA. The court determined that the CPRA regulates where the case should be heard (venue) and not whether the court has the authority to decide the case (jurisdiction).
The case involved a CPRA request submitted to the state’s Department of Justice and Attorney General by the California Gun Rights Foundation. When the DOJ and AG denied or “reasonably delayed” a response to CGRF’s request, CGRF sued in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The DOJ and AG then filed a motion to transfer the action to the Sacramento Superior Court, where the records and witnesses were situated. They argued, in relevant part, that the Los Angeles Superior Court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. The trial court granted the motion.
On appeal, the Second District disagreed with the trial court’s order granting the DOJ and AG’s motion to transfer the case to the Sacramento Superior Court insofar as it rested on the notion that the Los Angeles Superior Court did not have subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. Specifically, the appellate court held that Government Code section 6259’s reference to “the superior court of the county where the records or some part thereof are situated” relates only to venue and not to jurisdiction.
Read more in our Legal Alert, Jurisdiction Over CPRA Cases Not Limited to Courts in the County Where Records are Situated
CPRA Requesters Must Meet Code of Civil Procedure Undertaking Requirements
In Stevenson v. City of Sacramento, the Third District Court of Appeal held that CPRA requesters must post an undertaking to cover a public agency’s email storage costs during injunction proceedings. In the case, CPRA requesters sought 15 million emails that the City of Sacramento planned to destroy as part of its two-year email retention policy. The trial court granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the destruction of the records at issue. However, it also required the requesters to post an undertaking of $2,349.50, which is the amount that Sacramento calculated it would need to spend to comply with the injunction. The requesters appealed, claiming that this would have a chilling effect on CPRA requests.
On appeal, the Third District analyzed the requirements of California Code of Civil Procedure section 529. The court held that section 529 did not exempt CPRA requesters from its undertaking requirements. Moreover, the court treated the undertaking requirement as one of a number of unavoidable obligations when challenging a public agency’s CPRA determination, such as court filing fees. Additionally, the court rejected the requesters’ argument that the undertaking requirements would limit the public’s right to access records because state law allows courts to except indigent parties from section 529’s undertaking requirements under specified conditions.Print Article
Cal/OSHA Provides Questions and Answers Regarding New Regulations Related to COVID-19 (Public Agencies)By Peter J. Brown & Alexander Volberding, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
On January 8, the Department of Occupational and Safety (Cal/OSHA) updated its interpretive guidance concerning emergency COVID-19 regulations that took effect on November 30, 2020. The guidance reflects new information concerning employer obligations and employee entitlements under both Title 8 Sections 3205 and 3205.1, which, respectively, relate to the COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP) and workplace COVID-19 outbreaks.
While Cal/OSHA provides additional information on more than three dozen topics, the purpose of this special bulletin is to provide operational guidance on the more important of these topics, including: (1) the scope of the regulation’s coverage as it pertains to certain employees; (2) employer testing obligations in the event of “close contact” exposures and/or COVID-19 outbreaks; (3) clarification concerning the definition of an “exposed workplace” for purposes of establishing that a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred; and (4) employer requests to Cal/OSHA to waive the exclusion or quarantine requirements for certain employees.
In addition to describing the Cal/OSHA updates in this special bulletin, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore also updated our template CPP for consortium and non-consortium members and guide to reflect this information. Employers that purchased the template will be receiving the updated version. Other employers should consider purchasing the updated LCW template and guide in order to revise their own CPP documents.
Scope of Regulatory Coverage
Cal/OSHA clarifies the scope of coverage for its regulations, including as it relates to the following two (2) groups of employees: (1) employees who are or may be subject to a related regulation, Section 5199, which concerns Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATDs); and (2) employees who are vaccinated for COVID-19.
Employees Who May Perform “Services” Covered by Section 5199
Section 3205 expressly exempts from coverage “[e]mployees when covered by [Title 8] Section 5199”. That regulation covers “health care facilities, services, or operations”, and also certain “services”, including those provided by some firefighters and police officers.
Specifically, Section 5199 applies to “[p]aramedic and emergency medical services including these services when provided by firefighters and other emergency responders.” Section 5199 also applies to “[p]olice services, provided during transport or detention of persons reasonably anticipated to be cases or suspected cases of aerosol transmissible diseases; and police services provided in conjunction with health care or public health operations.” Therefore, firefighters and police may be covered by Section 5199, and exempt from Section 3205, when those employees are actually performing the specific services described above.
While Cal/OSHA’s updated guidance discusses employees who work in facilities and operations covered by Section 5199, it omits reference to employees whose coverage depends on the services that the employee performs. The guidance provides that if an employee works in a “single workplace” or “facility or operation” “that is within the scope of section 5199”, the employee is covered by the requirements of Section 5199, and not Section 3205. The guidance does not discuss “services” at all nor does it describe how employers of safety employees should approach or manage the two regulatory schemes to which firefighters and police officers may be subject depending on the services that they perform. Specifically, the guidance does not answer the question as to whether a safety employee who may occasionally perform the “services” that are within the scope of Section 5199, but do not work at a “facility or operation” covered by that regulation, is covered by Section 3205 or 5199 or both regulations.
As a result of the lack of guidance provided by Cal/OSHA on this subject, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore recommends that, unless the employee in question works at a “facility or operation” covered by Section 5199 or is actually performing one of the “services” expressly covered by that regulation, the employee’s employer should consider that such employee is covered by Section 3205.
Employees Who are Vaccinated Remain Subject to Regulatory Requirements
The Cal/OSHA guidance also provides that, for the time being at least, the scope of coverage for the regulations includes employees who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. Cal/OSHA suggests that this guidance may change in the future, but that the regulatory requirements currently cover such employees and the employers of such employees. Liebert Cassidy Whitmore advises employers, particularly those with vaccinated employees, to monitor guidance from Cal/OSHA on this topic.
Testing Obligations in the Event of “Close Contact” Workplace Exposures and “COVID-19 Outbreaks”
In addition to issues related to the scope of coverage, Cal/OSHA also clarifies several points about an employer’s obligations regarding testing employees for COVID-19 in the event that there is a “close contact” exposure under Section 3205 or a “COVID-19 outbreak” under Section 3205.1.
First, Cal/OSHA clarifies that there is no difference between the regulatory requirement to “offer testing” to employees who had a “close contact” COVID-19 exposure in the workplace and the requirement to “provide COVID-19 testing” to all employees at the “exposed workplace” in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance clarifies confusion concerning whether the use of different verbiage entailed different obligations to employees under each circumstance.
Second, Cal/OSHA provides that the employer does not need to offer employees COVID-19 testing in or at their worksite following a “close contact” exposure or a COVID-19 outbreak, but can offer such testing at off-site locations. The construction of both Sections 3205 and 3205.1 was unclear on this point and contributed to confusion as to whether employers were required to provide testing to employees in or at the workplace where the exposure or potential exposure occurred or just to those employees who were in or at that workplace. Cal/OSHA’s guidance clarifies that there is no obligation to provide the requisite testing at any specific location.
Relatedly, Cal/OSHA provides that, in order to discharge their obligations to provide “free testing” for employees under both Section 3205 and 3205.1, the employer may send such employees to an off-site testing location and during non-working hours, but must ensure that such employees “incur no costs for the testing.” As a result, employers must provide such employees compensation for their travel time and the costs incurred for such travel as well as pay for the time actually being tested, if during non-working hours.
While these clarifications are consistent with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore’s prior interpretations of the regulation and advice provided to clients, we reiterate our advice to employers to do the following: (1) offer testing to all employees who had “close contact” exposure to someone with COVID-19 while at work or who were at the “exposed workplace” during a COVID-19 outbreak; (2) compensate employee for the testing either by providing such testing during the employee’s regular working hours or by supplementing the employee’s pay for the time spent being tested during non-working hours; and (3) either provide employee testing at the employer’s worksite or compensate employees for costs incurred by employees traveling to and from the off-site testing location.
While Cal/OSHA provided some useful information concerning employers’ testing obligations, the guidance did not address whether an employer may permissibly direct an employee to be tested by the employee’s health care provider if the employer reimburses the employee for the health insurance costs, if any, charged to the employee for such testing. This legal issue is presently unsettled. Until Cal/OSHA answers this question, employers should recognize that there are risks associated with requiring that employees incur expenses associated with their actual testing, even if the employer reimburses such expenses.
Clarification as to What Constitutes an “Exposed Workplace” for Purposes of Establishing the Existence of a COVID-19 Outbreak and Related Employer Obligations
Cal/OSHA provides guidance concerning the conditions necessary for the establishment of a COVID-19 outbreak under Section 3205.1.
Cal/OSHA provided that, in order to establish a COVID-19 outbreak and trigger the resulting regulatory obligations under Section 3205.1, the “exposed workplace” is not an entire workplace or building, but rather “only the areas of the [workplace or] building where the COVID-19 were present,” including a specific “work location, working area, or common are used or accessed by a COVID-19 case.” This interpretive guidance narrows the scope of the physical area in which three (3) or more COVID-19 cases must be present in order for there to be an “outbreak.”
Cal/OSHA further clarifies that it “does not expect employers to treat areas where masked workers momentarily pass through the same space without interacting or congregating as an ‘exposed workplace,’ so they may focus on locations where transmission is more likely.” Finally, Cal/OSHA indicates that separate non-overlapping shifts who work at the same location may each constitute a “separate ‘exposed workplace.’”
Taken together, Cal/OSHA’s interpretations allow for an employer to disaggregate the specific “workplaces” that may comprise a single “worksite”, which may significantly reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 outbreaks under the regulation. As a result, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore recommends that employers subdivide large worksites into smaller workplaces. Further, in the event that there are three (3) or more COVID-19 cases at a worksite, we recommend that the employer identify whether there were a sufficient number of such COVID-19 cases in any one of the specifically identified workplaces necessary in order for the COVID-19 cases to constitute a COVID-19 outbreak at such workplace. Relatedly, Cal/OSHA states that it will consider an employer’s good faith effort to comply with the regulations before issuing any citations or monetary penalties.
Request for Cal/OSHA Waiver of the Regulatory Exclusion/Quarantine Requirement
Cal/OSHA provides information regarding how and under what circumstances an employer may request that Cal/OSHA waive the requirement that employees be excluded from employer worksites and facilities following a “close contact” exposure or COVID-19 diagnosis. The underlying regulation provided no information about how to request such a waiver from Cal/OSHA.
Cal/OSHA clarifies that such requests should only be made if the absence of such employee from the employer’s worksite would cause a staffing shortage that would have an “adverse on a community’s health and safety” and pose an undue risk to the community’s health and safety as a result. The guidance makes clear that the type of operations that may qualify for waiver are “narrower than the definition of ‘critical infrastructure’” and that Cal/OSHA will not provide waivers to employers in anticipation of a future workplace exposure or outbreak, but only if such exposure or outbreak has occurred.
While Cal/OSHA does not discuss guidance provided the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) the quarantines following “close contact” exposure, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore interprets the Cal/OSHA waiver as separate and distinct from the expedited return to work provided to certain employees under the CDPH framework. While this question is untested and therefore unsettled, the firm interprets Cal/OSHA guidance as potentially authorizing the immediate return to work for individuals following a “close contact” exposure or COVID-19 diagnosis under the emergency circumstances described in the regulation and associated guidance.
The Cal/OSHA guidance provides for how an employer may request a waiver. An employer should submit the request to email@example.com, but that in the event of an emergency, an employer may request a provisional waiver by contacting the local Cal/OSHA office while the employer prepares the written waiver request. The written waiver request should provide the following:
- Employer name and business or service;
- Employer point-of-contact name, address, email and phone number;
- Statement that there are no local or state health officer orders for isolation or quarantine of the excluded employees;
- Statement describing the way(s) in which excluding the exposed or COVID-19 positive employees from the workplace impacts the employer’s operation in a way that creates an undue risk to the community’s health and safety;
- Number of employees required to be quarantined under the Cal/OSHA regulation, and whether each was exposed to COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19; and
- The employer’s control measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace if the employee(s) return or continue to work in the workplace, including the prevention of further exposures. These measures may include, but are not limited to, preventative steps such as isolating the returned employee(s) at the workplace and requiring that other employees use respiratory protection in the workplace.
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore recommends that, in advance of a potential workplace exposure or COVID-19 outbreak that would jeopardize the employer’s ability to continue to provide essential services, an employer identify portions of its operations and job classifications, in particular, that are necessary to provide for the health and safety of the community. Further, we recommend that employers prepare a template waiver request, or use the one developed by our firm and available to Liebert Library subscribers, in order to expedite a written waiver request to Cal/OSHA in the event of an incident that would compromise the employer’s ability to adequately provide for the community’s health and safety.
While there remain a number of unanswered questions concerning the Cal/OSHA regulations regarding COVID-19, the January update provides some important clarifications with which employers should be familiar. This information will help employers ensure compliance with the regulations and minimize potential legal exposure due to non-compliance.
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore attorneys are available to assist public agencies that have any questions about this guidance.
For a full list of article references please visit the Liebert Cassidy Whitmore website.Print Article
Exercising its core value of teamwork, the California JPIA is committed to upholding relationships with its members and similarly minded organizations that support municipal agencies in California. The Authority leverages these connections to forge partnerships, address priority issues, and discuss risk management best practices with Authority members, prospective members, and business partners that share the Authority’s genuine interest in local government.
“The California JPIA is composed of not only informed risk management professionals, but also local government advocates with an authentic interest in collaborating with public agencies,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “The Authority’s commitment to supporting local government throughout California sets us apart from other risk management resources.”
Organizations that the Authority is sponsoring this year include the California City Management Foundation, which advances the benefits of the contracting model and strengthens local control and governance; and the League of California Cities, which collaborates with city officials to enhance knowledge and combine resources to influence policy decisions. Additionally, the Authority sponsors the Municipal Management Association of Southern California, supporting professional development for local government leaders.
Sponsorships also provide an opportunity to support the professional development of, and learn alongside, member agency staff.
“The California JPIA is proud to provide learning opportunities for municipal managers and elected officials at all levels,” said Shull. “By supporting advocacy and professional organizations, the Authority is investing in the education and enrichment of decision-makers and helping develop well-informed leaders who support a healthy risk management culture in their organization.”Print Article
For years, the California JPIA has hosted quarterly roundtables on various topics related to risk management. These roundtables have served as opportunities for members to learn about relevant topics and network with their peers, and to provide a forum for open discussion and dialogue on member issues. Typically, these two-hour roundtables are held at three locations: the California JPIA Campus in La Palma, a host member agency in the Central Coast, and a host member agency in the Coachella Valley.
During 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Authority suspended in-person training events and gatherings like these. As we have learned to adapt, we are excited to announce that Risk Manager Roundtables will be returning for 2021 in a new virtual format. The roundtables will take place over a webinar platform and incorporate Zoom breakout rooms for discussion and engagement. As always, they will be centered around risk management topics important to our members, topics such as the sidewalk inspection program, governmental immunities, and cyber liability.
Risk Manager Roundtables are open to all member agency staff. Once this year’s schedule is developed, the dates will be announced, and registration will be made available through myJPIA.org.
For further information regarding Risk Manager Roundtables, please contact Ryan Thomas, Training and Loss Control Specialist by email or at (562) 631-1360.Print Article
In order to better connect with current members and reach potential new members, the Authority has an active presence on social media. Members can find information on various topics on the social media channels listed below.
Connect with our latest posts:
“The Authority has a revised version of its COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan template available. The template incorporates recently adopted Cal/OSHA regulations regarding COVID-19 prevention and outbreaks, as well as elements required for a written COVID-19 Prevention Program. Members can access this document here: https://tinyurl.com/y3madnhc”
Comment and share:
“The Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Jon Shull, was recently elected as the Board President of the Board of the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP). AGRiP represents and connects pooling organizations across the country, providing education, resources, and best practices to make member organizations more effective and to advance pooling as an industry. Congratulations on your new role, Jon! https://tinyurl.com/y46fpr5z”
Follow us, comment and share about risk management:
“The California JPIA congratulates Malibu City Manager Reva Feldman, who was one of 10 national finalists for the League of Women in Government’s 2020 Leadership Trailblazer Award. Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/y6k5pnot”
Like and follow us:
For information on how to join these sites or participate in discussions, please contact Courtney Morrison, Management Analyst.Print Article
The California JPIA congratulates four staff members who celebrated milestone anniversaries in 2020: Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull, 25 years; Training Manager Joe Eynon, 15 years; Management Analyst Abe Han, five years; and Administrative Assistant Lyndsie Buskirk, five years. These capable professionals’ knowledge, experience, and dedication have established the Authority as a leader in the insurance pooling industry.
“I am particularly proud of the people with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work,” said Shull. “At this point in my career, I’m able to celebrate that I hired everyone who works at the Authority. It is a very thoughtful, dedicated, passionate group of people who are truly dedicated to the members and their success.”
The California JPIA’s Executive Committee recognized Shull, Eynon, Han, and Buskirk with special service awards during its meeting on December 16, 2020.
Shull joined the Authority in 1995 and took the helm as chief executive officer in 2002. He celebrated 25 years of service and leadership in February of last year. Under his leadership, the Authority has transformed training from a simple member benefit to a holistic loss-prevention strategy, implemented a new prospective funding model that positioned the pool to maintain its strong financial position and provide stability to members, and earned Accreditation with Excellence by the California Association of Joint Powers Authorities and the Association of Governmental Risk Pools’ Advisory Standards Recognition.
Eynon, who joined the Authority in 2005, oversees all aspects of the Authority’s training program. During his tenure, training has played an integral role in supporting risk management and good governance, while technological advancements have enabled an innovative learning management system and enhanced training delivery resources.
Last November, Han commemorated five years of managing resources and coordinating programs that assist Authority members in areas ranging from sidewalk maintenance to ADA compliance. He also analyzes legislative action at the state level and informs members about key bills of interest by writing articles for the Authority’s monthly newsletter.
Buskirk, who also celebrated her fifth year with the Authority in 2020, provides support for executive and administrative operations including event logistics, marketing initiatives, and constituent relations. She is a publicly prominent agent of the California JPIA, upholding relationships with similarly minded organizations that support municipal agencies throughout the state.
“The Executive Committee and Board of Directors are grateful for the dedication and commitment of our employees,” said Executive Committee President Margaret Finlay. “Surely their experience will continue to keep us at the top of our industry. Congratulations to all of them for a job well done.”
Congratulations, Jon, Joe, Abe, and Lyndsie, and thank you for your service!Print Article
California JPIA Recognizes Milestone Anniversary for Training and Loss Control Specialist Ryan Thomas
The California JPIA congratulates Training and Loss Control Specialist Ryan Thomas, who celebrates his five-year anniversary with the Authority this January.
During his time on staff, Thomas has excelled in curriculum development, learning, and training. The integration of new, virtual learning environments in 2020 has extended his expertise in broadcast technology and webinar and teleconferencing platforms.
“Last year, Ryan jumped in feet first to learn Zoom and ON24, the Authority’s primary meeting, webcasting, and virtual event platforms,” said Assistant Executive Officer Norm Lefmann. “He stepped up as an educator and as a technological expert to leverage the platforms above and beyond typical use.”
Thomas, who holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach, has extensive experience in local government. He joined the Authority from the City of Costa Mesa, where he served as a principal human resources analyst for 10 years. Thomas previously worked for the cities of Bellflower and Paramount, where he had the opportunity to collaborate with Authority staff regarding workers’ compensation matters.
Thomas was drawn to the Authority, he said, by the idea of working with member agencies and providing the support that he wished he had when he worked for Costa Mesa: “Access to the California JPIA’s policy templates, advice, guidance, and training is the absolute, ultimate support system for municipal human relations and risk management staff members.”
As part of his role assisting in the development and implementation of the Authority’s curriculum—including the short-take training video series—Thomas designs courses, evaluates current training, manages instructors and consultants, and ensures that programming adheres to agreed-upon learning objectives and standards. His position bridges the gap between training and risk management by augmenting the already-strong training team with a resource who has first-hand understanding of risk management claims.
“Through his team attitude and strong interest in working with others across the organization, Ryan has built valuable relationships,” said Lefmann. “His acumen for identifying solutions for unique training needs has a direct impact on our members.”
“I enjoy working with our members and instructors to develop training that keeps employees safe and mitigates losses to the pool,” said Thomas.
Congratulations, Ryan, on your five-year anniversary!Print Article
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to post OSHA Form 300A between February 1 and April 30, 2021. Form 300A provides a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2020 and were logged on OSHA Form 300. The form must be posted in a location where employee notices are usually found, and must not be altered, defaced, or obscured during the posting period.
A copy of Form 300A must also be made available to employees who do not report to any fixed establishment on a regular basis. At the end of the three-month posting period, the Form 300A should be kept on file for five years. If any newly discovered, recordable incidents or changes in classification are noted, the log should be updated.
Employers must record any new work-related injury or illness if it results in days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, significant injury or illness as diagnosed by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional, or death. Employers must record any incidents that aggravate a prior injury. Employers are also required to log COVID-19 related illnesses on the form.
OSHA has strict requirements for protecting the privacy of injured and ill employees. An employer shall not record the employee’s name on the OSHA 300 log for certain “privacy concern cases.” Instead, “Privacy Case” shall be entered in the space reserved for the employee’s name. OSHA defines a privacy concern case as an injury or illness to an intimate body part or the reproductive system; an injury or illness resulting from a sexual assault; mental illnesses; HIV infection, hepatitis, or tuberculosis; needle stick injuries and cuts from sharp objects that are contaminated with another person’s blood or other potentially infectious material; and other illnesses if the employee voluntarily requests that his or her name not be entered on the log. The Authority is recommending that all cases reference “Privacy Case” in the employee name fields, not just in privacy concern cases as defined by OSHA.
Members who participate in the Authority’s Workers’ Compensation Program recently received an email from Sedgwick with a partially completed Form 300A with instructions for completing and posting the form. Members should follow the instructions and post a copy of the completed form by February 1, 2021. Forms 300 and 300A can also be obtained from the Cal/OSHA website.
For more information, please contact your assigned Risk Manager.Print Article