(a) For the purpose of this section, "claims administrator" means a self-administered workers' compensation insurer; or a self-administered self-insured employer; or a self-administered legally uninsured employer; or a self-administered joint powers authority; or a third-party claims administrator for an insurer, a self-insured employer, a legally uninsured employer, or a joint powers authority.
(b) With respect to injuries resulting in lost time beyond the employee's work shift at the time of injury or medical treatment beyond first aid:
(1) If the claims administrator obtains knowledge that the employer has not provided a claim form or a notice of potential eligibility for benefits to the employee, it shall provide the form and notice to the employee within three working days of its knowledge that the form or notice was not provided.
(2) If the claims administrator cannot determine if the employer has provided a claim form and notice of potential eligibility for benefits to the employee, the claims administrator shall provide the form and notice to the employee within 30 days of the administrator's date of knowledge of the claim.
(c) The administrative director, in consultation with the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, shall prescribe reasonable rules and regulations, including notice of the right to consult with an attorney, where appropriate, for serving on the employee (or employee's dependents, in the case of death), the following:
(1) Notices dealing with the payment, nonpayment, or delay in payment of temporary disability, permanent disability, supplemental job displacement, and death benefits.
(2) Notices of any change in the amount or type of benefits being provided, the termination of benefits, the rejection of any liability for compensation, and an accounting of benefits paid.
(3) Notices of rights to select the primary treating physician, written continuity of care policies, requests for a comprehensive medical evaluation, and offers of regular, modified, or alternative work.
(d) The administrative director, in consultation with the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, shall develop, make fully accessible on the department's Internet Web site, and make available at district offices informational material written in plain language that describes the overall workers' compensation claims process, including the rights and obligations of employees and employers at every stage of a claim when a notice is required.
(e) Each notice prescribed by the administrative director shall be written in plain language, shall reference the informational material described in subdivision (d) to enable employees to understand the context of the notices, and shall clearly state the Internet Web site address and contact information that an employee may use to access the informational material.
(f) On or before January 1, 2018, the administrative director shall adopt regulations to provide employees with notice that they may access medical treatment outside of the workers' compensation system following the denial of their claim.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 868, Sec. 1.)