Election 2018: Proposition 11 – Paramedic Rest Breaks

Allows ambulance companies to force a worker to remain in an “on-call” state during their mandated rest breaks with pay equal to the worker’s regular rate.
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What this proposition does: This proposition would allow ambulance companies to force a worker to remain in an “on-call” state during their mandated rest breaks with pay equal to the worker’s regular rate. It would also require ambulance companies provide additional training for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics, and would require those employers to provide paid mental health services. What supporters say: Supporters claim this initiative is badly needed because emergency response workers like EMTs and paramedics are the type of workers who need to be reachable during their shifts for public safety reasons. Supporters point out that a number of other public safety workers, including police officers, are already reachable during their breaks. Supporters say this simply codifies into law what was already existing practice at many public safety agencies and companies, and note that an emergency response worker is compensated for their time if they have to miss a rest break because of a public safety event. What opponents say: Opponents claim emergency support companies are trying to sidestep a legal ruling that applied to security guards in which a court ruled those workers must be given their scheduled rest breaks without any expectation of being “on call.” Opponents argue the initiative would deprive emergency response workers of their much-needed rest breaks and allow private public safety response companies to avoid paying some wages to those workers. Opponents say the court has already made this issue clear and that proponents of the initiative shouldn’t try to circumvent a legal ruling by codifying an exception into the law. What a YES vote means: A YES vote means a voter wants to allow ambulance companies to force some emergency workers to remain “on-call” and responsive during their scheduled rest breaks while also requiring those companies provide some added training and mental health services. What a NO vote means: A NO vote means a voter wants ambulance companies to continue to be subjected to a recent court ruling that said private companies are required to provide their public safety workers with rest breaks with no expectation of them being in an “on-call” state.  ]]>

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