Governor Brown Vetoes MRSA Presumption Bill

September 29, 2014

It was announced today, that Governor Jerry Brown, vetoed AB 2616 which would have created a first of its kind private employer workers’ compensation presumption for methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus (MRSA). This bill would create a first of its kind private employer workers’ compensation presumption for a specific staph infection — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — for certain hospital employees.

California’s no-fault system of worker’s compensation insurance requires that claims must be “liberally construed” to extend benefits to injured workers whenever possible. The determination  that an illness is work-related should be decided by the rules of that system and on the specific facts of each employee’s situation. While I am aware that statutory presumptions have steadily expanded for certain public employees, I am not inclined to further this trend or to introduce it into the private sector.

Some have reported that hospitals have intimidated nurses from filing valid worker’s compensation claims for a work-related MRSA infection. Any such conduct would be reprehensible. I am therefore directing the Department of Industrial Relations to investigate and take whatever action is needed.

Read the press release here:http://gov.ca.gov/docs/AB_2616_Veto_Message.pdf.