(a) No disability indemnity payment shall be made by any written instrument unless it is immediately negotiable and payable in cash, on demand, without discount at some established place of business in the state.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employer from depositing the disability indemnity payment in an account in any bank, savings and loan association or credit union of the employee's choice in this state, provided the employee has voluntarily authorized the deposit, nor shall it prohibit an employer from electronically depositing the disability indemnity payment in an account in any bank, savings and loan association, or credit union, that the employee has previously authorized to receive electronic deposits of payroll, unless the employee has requested, in writing, that disability indemnity benefits not be electronically deposited in the account.
(b) It is not a violation of this section if a delay in the negotiation of a written instrument is caused solely by the application of state or federal banking laws or regulations.
(c) On or before July 1, 2004, the administrative director shall present to the Governor recommendations on how to provide better access to funds paid to injured workers in light of the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations governing the negotiability of disability indemnity payments. The administrative director shall make specific recommendations regarding payments to migratory and seasonal farmworkers. The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation and the Employment Development Department shall assist the administrative director in the completion of this report.
(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 6, Sec. 65.)