EMS World

FEB 2019

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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EMSWORLD.com | FEBRUARY 2019 43 Critic s of Prop 11—among them the United EMS Workers (UEMSW) union, a Bay Area af filiate of the American Fed- eration of State, Count y, and Municipal Employee s (AFSCME)—s ay AMR only pushed the measure to protect itself from paying out millions in lawsuits. "Requiring private-sector EMTs to be on call during their meal breaks is tech- nically a violation of the California labor code," says UEMSW Executive Director Jason Bollini. "AMR is experiencing three dif ferent lawsuits alleging those viola- tions. Prop 11 retroactively rewrites the labor law, releasing AMR from $100 mil- lion in potential liabilit y. Spending $30 million to save $100 million is a smar t business move." "Voters were fully informed of the retro- active nature of Prop 11 in the voter guide," notes Sorrick. "In fact, in the official voter guide and on the actual ballot itself, the title for Prop 11 prominently stated in large capitalized letters: Requires private-sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on- call during work breaks. Eliminates certain employ- er liability… Voters agreed that patient safety was best ser ved by requiring all EMTs and paramedics to remain on call regardless of whether they work for a public or private entity, and that no liability should attach to this practice." Prop 11 Explained According to an analysis by the Califor- nia Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO)— a state-funded agency that's the Cali- fornia legislature's nonpartisan fiscal and policy analyst—a yes vote on this mea sure means: Private ambulance companies could continue their cur- rent practice of having emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics stay on duty during their meal and rest breaks in order to respond to 9-1-1 calls. Private ambulance companies would attempt to reschedule meal and rest breaks that are interrupted by a 9-1-1 call. In contrast, a no vote on this measure means: Private ambulance companies would be subject to labor laws for this industry. Based on a recent court decision, these laws likely would require ambulance companies to provide EMTs and paramed- ics with off-duty meal and rest breaks that cannot be interrupted by a 9-1-1 call. According to LAO one fiscal ef fect of passing Prop 11 would be potential avoid- ance of one-time cost s: Proposition 11 seeks to limit costs ambulance companies might face as a result of active lawsuits regarding meal and rest break violations. (The companies could owe payments to workers due to these violations.) Whether the measure limits these costs would likely be determined by the courts. If the measure does eliminate these costs, ambulance companies would avoid unknown, but potentially large, one-time costs. Find the full text of LAO's Prop 11 analy- sis at lao.ca.gov/BallotAnalysis/Proposi tion?number=11&year=2018. Why AMR Promoted Prop 11 Sorrick is adamant that Prop 11 is all about putting public safety first. "In 2016 a California Supreme Cour t Prop 11 seeks to limit costs ambulance com- panies might face as a result of lawsuits.

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