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2019

April 1, 2019: The DFEH has released a new notice.

Employers are required to post the updated and renamed Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave notice (DFEH-100-21 / March 2019). Formerly known as, the Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability notice. Effective April 1, 2019, California employers covered by the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the NPLA are required to post this new notice. Employers with 20 to 49 employees will need to post the Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave notice in their workplace, and employers with 50 or more employees will need to replace their existing notice with the new version.

August 21, 2019: Hazardous pharmaceutical waste prohibited from disposal down the drain.

EPA’s newest rule requires healthcare facilities and other businesses that generate pharmaceutical hazardous waste to properly dispose of the waste. The first part of the rule, the prohibition on “sewering” hazardous pharmaceutical waste, is effective August 21. All nonhazardous pharmaceutical waste that are not controlled substances must be disposed as regulated medical waste. See Dental Office Waste Management Options.

January 1, 2019: Amendments to clarify ambiguities to salary history ban law

The new law amends the Labor Code to specify that an employer may now ask for an applicant’s salary expectations for the position being applied for, only external applicants (not current employees) and are entitled to request a pay scale for the position they are applying for, but only after completing an initial interview. The pay scale provided only needs to include salary and hourly wage ranges. AB 2282

January 1, 2019: Enroll in or opt out of Medicare

Dentists who order or provide Medicare-covered items and services (clinical laboratory services, imaging services or durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies) will need to either enroll in Medicare using form CMS-855-I (PDF) or the shorter enrollment form CMS-855-O (PDF) or formally opt out of Medicare by Jan. 1, 2019. To assure one's status with Medicare and that patients' Medicare benefits do not lapse, dentists should allow sufficient time for processing whichever form is submitted. Learn more about enrollment requirements by visiting the ADA’s Facts and FAQ on Medicare.

January 1, 2019: Implement new minimum wage increases

The minimum wage for a large employer with 26 or more employees in California will increase from $11 per hour to $12 per hour, and employers with 25 or fewer employees will increase from $10.50 per hour to $11 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019. Some cities and counties have their own ordinances beyond what is required by state law, with more expected to follow. CDA provides a guide to minimum wage ordinances by city and county and employers are advised to check with their local jurisdictions to ensure they are in compliance.

January 1, 2019: Mandatory opioid prescription discussion with minor or minor’s parent

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, a prescriber is required to discuss the following with a minor or the minor’s parent or guardian before issuing the first opioid prescription in a single course of treatment:

  1. The risks of addiction and overdose associated with the use of opioids.
  2. The increased risk of addiction to an opioid to an individual suffering from both mental and substance-abuse disorders.
  3. The danger of taking an opioid with benzodiazepine, alcohol or another central nervous system depressant.

A new informed consent form, Consent to Prescribe Opioid to a Minor, (Spanish version) has been developed and is available on the TDIC and CDA Practice Support websites.

January 1, 2019: Prescriber obligation to prescribe and educate on naloxone use

As of Jan. 1, 2019, a prescriber must offer to a patient a prescription for naloxone hydrochloride or other FDA-approved drug for the complete or partial reversal of opioid depression when one or more of the following conditions are present:

  1. The prescription dosage for the patient is 90 or more morphine milligram equivalents of an opioid medication per day. (See this CDC document on how to calculate MME.)
  2. An opioid medication is prescribed concurrently with a prescription for benzodiazepine.
  3. The patient presents with an increased risk for overdose, including a patient with a history of overdose, a patient with a history of substance use disorder or a patient at risk for returning to a high dose of opioid medication to which the patient is no longer tolerant.

Additionally, a prescriber must provide education to a patient, or the patient’s guardian if patient is a minor, receiving a prescription per the above circumstance on overdose prevention and the use of naloxone hydrochloride or other FDA-approved drug for the complete or partial reversal of opioid depression. AB 2760

January 1, 2019: Update standard mileage reimbursement rate for 2019 (released by Internal Revenue Service)

See the IRS’s press release. For business expense reimbursement, the 2019 rate is $0.58 per mile. That’s up $0.035 from last year. California employers need to reimburse such common expenses as work-related travel, dining expenses and mileage when an employee uses a personal car for work-related business. However, employees who can prove they spend more than $0.58 per mile to operate their personal vehicles for business use may be entitled to reimbursement of the actual expense. It’s up to the employees to prove their expenses, however.

January 1, 2019: Updated Lactation Accommodation location requirements

Section 1031 of the Labor Code has now been updated to specify that employers should provide a location other than a bathroom. Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide the employee the use of a room, other than a bathroom, in close proximity to the employees work area to express milk in private. Employers should update their employee policy to reflect the new
lactation accommodation requirements. Sample Employee Manual (Doc)

March 12, 2019: Transition period to new controlled substances prescription forms

Prescribers of controlled substances may use 2018-compliant prescription forms as well as prescription forms with serial numbers through the end of 2020. SB 149 provides a transition period to new prescription forms that will be required starting January 1, 2021. The legislation, which became effective as soon as it was signed by the governor, resolves the unintended issues created when AB 1753 became effective Jan. 1, 2019. The effective date of AB 1753 left prescribers with very little time to order new forms and it was learned that the format of the serial number did not conform to industry standards. Prescribers in need of new controlled substance prescription forms should ensure they order from an approved printer listed on the DOJ website. New prescription forms with serial numbers formatted in the manner prescribed by SB 149 may be available by 2020. Consider moving to e-prescribing for controlled substances.