Northern California Engineering Contractors Association


Senate Bill 1159 – California Workers compensation laws related to COVID-19 claims

We have just learned that Senate Bill 1159 was signed into law by Governor
Gavin Newsom on 9-17-20.  We wanted to make you all aware of some of the key
points of this Bill because it take effect immediately.  Since we are not
attorneys and can not provide legal advice, you may want to contact your
Labor Counsel to clarify your obligations under this new bill.  We expect
that your Workers’ Compensation Carriers will be communicating with you
about this new law and their plans for implementation in the coming days and

**Please pay particular attention to Section 4, as it requires immediate

SB 1159 Information for Insureds

There are new changes to California Workers Compensation laws related to
COVID-19 claims.  These changes – SB 1159 – were passed by the California
Legislature on 8/31/2020 and signed into law by Governor Newsom on
9/17/2020.  SB 1159 is effective immediately and certain provisions apply
retroactively to July 6, 2020 and will remain effective until January 1,

Below are some bullet points on the new law, which is broken into five

Section 1: A COVID-19 task force is being formed to study the impact of
COVID on the work comp system.

Section 2: Mirrors the Executive Order regarding the presumption of
occupational causation for COVID-19 illness for dates of employment between
3/19/20 and 7/5/20, now part of LC Section 3212.86. The following criteria
must be met for the presumption to apply:
* Must be outside the home at direction/control of employer
* Must have positive test or diagnosis and confirming test within 30 days
* Positive test must be within 14 days from date last worked
* Insurance companies have 30 days to make a compensability decision
* SB 1159 does not change the Executive Order

Section 3: Specific to firefighters, peace officers and health care workers
who provide direct patient care or have contact with COVID
patients.  For the presumption to apply the following criteria must
* 30 days to make a compensability decision
* Must have positive PCR test
* Positive test must be within 14 days from date last worked

Section 4: Applies to all other CA businesses with 5 or more employees
* Applies Retroactively to 7/6/20 and is in effect until 1/1/23

*   All positive test results an employer is aware of from its employees,
whether or not there was occupational/industrial causation from 7-6-20 to
9-16-20, must be reported to your Workers’ Compensation carrier within 30
business days of 9-17-20.
*   Any new positive test results 9-17-20 or after must reported to your
insurance company within 3 business days.
*   Many carriers are setting specific protocols to facilitate these new
reporting obligations.    In the meantime, we are including a generic form
you can complete and provide to your carrier using the same email address
you would use to report a claim.  The information you need to report is
*   Date of the test (date specimen was collected
*   Specific place or places of employment during 14 day period
preceding the employee’s positive test
*   The highest number of employees who reported to the  positive
employee’s specific place of employment in the 45 day period preceding the
last day the positive employee worked at each specific place of employment
*   No personally identifiable information (unless the positive
employee is claiming occupational/industrial causation or filing a claim)
*   We have attached a list of many of the carriers we represent with
phone numbers and email addresses for reference.
*   Please keep in mind, if the employee is alleging that they contracted
it at work, you must also provide them with a DWC-1 and file it as claim.
Your insurance company is responsible for investigating and determining
*   Civil Penalties of up to $10,000 for failure to report.
* Compensability has to be determined within 45 days instead of the typical
90 days allowed for other claims, so time is of the essence in filing claims
if applicable
* Must have a positive Covid test, (PCR or other FDA approved viral culture
* Defines “outbreak” – “outbreak” will determine if the rebuttable
presumption applies.

*   An Outbreak is:

*   4 or more employees with positive tests within 14 days of each other
(5-100 employees at same “specific place of employment”)
*   4% or more with positive tests within 14 days of each other (over 100
employees at same “specific place of employment”)
– Calculation of 4% is based on the highest number of employees at that
specific location in the last 45 days

*   Outbreak = Rebuttable Presumption of Compensability
* The Presumption can be rebutted if proven that the employer had measures
in place to reduce transmission or can prove employee had nonoccupational
* COVID related sick leave must be exhausted prior to temporary disability
being initiated with no waiting period

Section 5: This is an “urgency” measure so as soon as Governor Newsom signs
the bill, which he did on 9-17-20, it’s effective immediately and
retroactively from 7/6/20 – 1/1/23.

Please look for communication from your Workers’ Compensation carriers or
use the phone numbers listed on the attachment if you have specific
questions about how this will be implemented.  You can also contact us if
you have questions.

Daniel Powers, CAWC
Account Executive
Don Ramatici Insurance, Inc.
Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Past President
P: 707-782-9200 ext. 106
License #0449871

ECA Endorsements


Cotati: ECA Endorses Ben Ford, Laura Sparks, Susan Harvey

Petaluma: ECA Endorses Kathy Miller, and Mike Healy

Rohnert Park: ECA Endorses Jake Mackenzie

Sonoma: ECA did not endorse any candidate in Sonoma.

Sebastopol: ECA Endorses Diana Rich, and Evert Fernandez

Santa RosaECA Endorses Jack Tibbetts, Chris Rogers, Jorge Inocencio, and Eric Christensen

WindsorECA Endorses Dominic Foppoli for Mayor

Healdsburg: ECA Endorses David Hagele, Ariel Kelly, and David Jones

Cloverdale: ECA did not endorse any candidate in Cloverdale.

State Ballot Measures:

ECA voted to OPPOSE California Ballot Measure Prop 15

Local Ballot Measures: 

ECA voted to ENDORSE Sonoma County Measure DD 

ECA voted to OPPOSE Sonoma County Measure O, County of Sonoma, Mental Health, Addiction and Homeless Services Measure Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance

ECA voted to OPPOSE City of Santa Rosa’s Measure Q, City of Santa Rosa, Sales Tax Extension

ECA voted to take no position on any other State or Local Ballot Measures




GoSonoma Act Information
The latest information on the GoSonoma Act is available at The expenditure plan shows how we will fix local streets, improve transportation corridors, increase bus transit service, and improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Ghilotti Bros., Inc. —  Press Release

Frank Palagi – 65 Years – A Workiversary to Remember

Ghilotti Bros., Inc. is proud to announce the 65 Year Work-Anniversary of Frank Palagi, on May 1, 2020.

65 years ago, May 1, 1955 to be exact, a fearless, young, Italian man started what was to become a lifetime of dedication and endless successes.  In 1955, recognizing exceptional talent, Dino Ghilotti hired Frank to work for Ghilotti Bros.  How did Dino know at the time Frank would become the mentor and guiding light for so many to come at GBI?

Like Dino, Mario Ghilotti Sr., also saw something special in Frank.  Frank’s innate ability to lead, coupled with good old-fashioned hard work, strong drive and his relentless pursuit for precision in every task.  Mario and Dino quickly moved Frank from Laborer, to Concrete Finisher, and finally, to Lead Man (Foreman in today’s world).

This is where Frank really shined in the role of a mentor and teacher. Frank is, and always will be,  one of GBI’s finest in every sense of the word.  Frank has mentored so many craft employees over the years, such as Dominic Nuccio, still with GBI and an impressive 47 years under his belt. Frank’s ability to take a green employee and guide them to their best potential and success is extraordinary and he has always done this with a patience, respect, and humility to be admired.

Frank’s timeless experiences with GBI are a result of his hard work and dedication.   Frank exceled while operating as the Superintendent responsible for the construction of the San Marin subdivisions in the 1970’s. 1993 found Frank in Management at the San Rafael office, dispatching and running the back yard;  This particular endeavor was ‘Dino’s baby’ and production engine of the Company. The confidence in Frank was evident when he was selected to fill this role.

For Frank, the jump to Vice President of Operations, from 1993 until 2016, was followed by his role as Vice President of Safety & Quality Control, the position Frank still holds today.  Frank still keeps his hand and heart in what’s going on in the field, even as he finally cuts back a bit on the work hours! A skill many can learn from, Frank still maintains an impeccable filing system of GBI memos dating back to the early 60’s.

Frank’s talents are many including an excellent singing voice.  He is GBI’s personal Frank Sinatra.  As Mario’s fellow music lover, Frank’s crooning delighted them both and cemented their bond and mutual passion for music lasting 55 years until Mario’s passing.  Many a late night after a construction association dinner, in a Denny’s somewhere, Mario and Frank would revel in their game of “name that tune”.  Frank became the designated leader of the National Anthem at all of GBI’s picnics and Christmas parties and still leads us all today.

It is no surprise that Frank is fondly referred to as the 5th Brother and considered family in every sense of the word.  An avid 49er fan, Frank would join Mario & Eva at Candlestick Park for home games. Frank at the wheel and Mario telling him to “drive faster” and in various directions for shortcuts.  Saturday lunch at San Rafael Joes.  God bless Frank for sustaining a 30-year Saturday working lunch tradition with Mario & Eva, and any other GBI employee who enjoyed a complimentary meal for coming into the office on a Saturday to catch up.

Frank exemplifies what devotion looks like.  He has and always will be here for the company first, strong in form and character, with his best foot forward, a smile on his face and a song in his heart.  Frank protects and personifies the legacy of GBI and everything James Ghilotti must have dreamed of.  Frank’s mentoring and leading by example inspires everyone around him, the desire to emulate the qualities of excellence in their work, striving for high quality work and giving their best for the good of the community.

All of us at GBI, past and current, want to thank you Frank.  Thank you for your loyalty, your support and leadership, and for being the best employee, friend, and person that a company could ever have.  and for doing it longer and better than anyone else ever has!

Congratulazioni Senore Palagi  — Millie Grazie !!  Vi amiamo tutti.  Stai al sicuro e stai bene…    (Congratulations Mr. Palagi.  A million thanks.  We all love you! Stay safe and stay well…)


Each year, fifty-five construction workers are killed by electrocution from contact with overhead power lines. Over 90 percent of the contacts involved overhead distribution lines. These are the same lines that run in the alleys behind our houses and through our job sites.

There are distinct patterns to these fatalities. The most obvious is apathy. We all grew up around power lines. Since they are so common to us, they seem harmless.

This serious mistake is fueled by two common misconceptions: the belief that some overhead lines do not carry enough power to kill, and the belief that power lines are well-insulated. Both are dead wrong.  click here for more.

George Petersen Insurance

The California Department of Insurance has approved special rules proposed by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) to provide some relief to employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules will allow employers to temporarily reassign the payroll of qualified employees to 8810 Clerical and exclude the payroll for employees who are on paid leave during the Shelter In Place order. Documentation will be important; see link below for is a brief overview of the documentation that will be required. link

Stevenson Supply & Tractor Co.

We are pleased to announce Gustavo “Goose” Orozco has joined Stevenson Supply & Tractor Co. as an Outside Sales Representative.
Gustavo brings over 17 years of sales experience related to the construction industry in Northern California. He has made building relationships a career and has a reputation for providing a top-tier level of customer service.
Originating from Santa Rosa, he returns to a local community where he remains active through neighborhood programs and various trade associations.
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