Calif. voters back Prop. 11, supporting on-call breaks for EMS providers

The ballot measure, which requires private sector EMTs and paramedics to remain on-call during meal and rest breaks, was ahead by a double digit margin


By Marisa Kendall
The Mercury News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Proposition 11, which regulates breaks taken by ambulance workers, rolled to victory Tuesday.

The ballot measure, which requires private sector EMTs and paramedics to remain on-call during meal and rest breaks, was ahead by a double digit margin Tuesday night.

Private ambulance companies in the past have required workers to remain on call during breaks. But Prop. 11 landed on the ballot following several lawsuits against companies over their on-call break policies. And in 2016, the California Supreme Court ruled employers cannot require their workers to remain on-call during breaks.

An analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office determined it’s likely that court ruling soon will apply to EMTs and paramedics, which potentially would increase costs to California ambulance companies by more than $100 million a year. Prop. 11 allows ambulance companies to avoid that extra spending.

Opponents argued medical transportation company American Medical Response attempted to use Prop. 11 to dodge the labor lawsuits pending against it. Supporters said the measure would bring rules for EMTs and paramedics in line with those for other emergency service providers.

Prop. 11 also mandates that meal breaks not occur during the first or last hour of a shift, and be spaced at least two hours apart.

Copyright 2018 The Mercury News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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