What is the Labor Code Section 4850 Time?

CA Workers’ Compensation provides a special benefit for certain public employees who are essentially in safety and law enforcement positions.

Labor Code § 4850 - Law Enforcement - Edward J SingerWhat is Labor Code 4850 Time?

Labor Code § 4850 provides an extremely valuable benefit for industrially injured workers, for one year for each date of injury. In summary, “4850 Time” provides up to one year of leave at full pay and no tax deductions when temporarily totally disabled due to an industrial injury for the following public personnel:

  • Police officers
  • Firefighters
  • “Other” security personnel

Labor Code Section 4850 provides:

  • (a) Whenever any person listed in subdivision (b), who is employed on a regular, full-time basis, and is disabled, whether temporarily or permanently, by injury or illness arising out of and in the course of his or her duties, he or she shall become entitled, regardless of his or her period of service with the city, county, or district, to a leave of absence while so disabled without loss of salary in lieu of temporary disability payments or maintenance allowance payments, if any, that would be payable under this chapter, for the period of the disability, but not exceeding one year, or until that earlier date as he or she is retired on permanent disability pension, and is actually receiving disability pension payments, or advanced disability pension payments pursuant to Section 4850.3.
  • (b) The persons eligible under subdivision (a) include all of the following:
  1. City police officers.
  2. City, county, or district firefighters.
  3. Sheriffs.
  4. Officers or employees of any sheriff’s offices.
  5. Inspectors, investigators, detectives, or personnel with comparable titles in any district attorney’s office.
  6. County probation officers, group counselors, or juvenile services officers.
  7. Officers or employees of a probation office.
  8. Peace officers under Section 830.31 of the Penal Code employed on a regular, full-time basis by a county of the first class.
  9. Lifeguards employed year round on a regular, full-time basis by a county of the first class or by the City of San Diego.
  10. Airport law enforcement officers under subdivision (d) of Section 830.33 of the Penal Code.
  11. Harbor or port police officers, wardens, or special officers of a harbor or port district or city or county harbor department under subdivision (a) of Section 830.1 or subdivision (b) of Section 830.33 of the Penal Code.
  12. Police officers of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  • (c) This section shall apply only to persons listed in subdivision(b) who meet the requirements of subdivision (a), and shall not include any of the following:
  1. Employees of a police department whose principal duties are those of a telephone operator, clerk, stenographer, machinist, mechanic, or otherwise, and whose functions do not clearly fall within the scope of active law enforcement service.
  2. Employees of a county sheriff’s office whose principal duties are those of a telephone operator, clerk, stenographer, machinist, mechanic, or otherwise, and whose functions do not clearly come within the scope of active law enforcement service.
  3. Employees of a county probation office whose principal duties are those of a telephone operator, clerk, stenographer, machinist, mechanic, or otherwise, and whose functions do not clearly come within the scope of active law enforcement service.
  4. Employees of a city fire department, county fire department, or fire district whose principal duties are those of a telephone operator, clerk, stenographer, machinist, mechanic, or otherwise, and whose functions do not clearly fall within the scope of active firefighting and prevention service.
  • (d) If the employer is insured, the payments that, except for this section, the insurer would be obligated to make as disability indemnity to the injured, the insurer may pay to the insured.
  • (e) No leave of absence taken pursuant to this section by a peace officer, as defined by Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, or by a city, county, or district firefighter, shall be deemed to constitute family care and medical leave, as defined in Section 12945.2 of the Government Code, or to reduce the time authorized for family care and medical leave by Section 12945.2 of the Government Code.
  • (f) This section shall not apply to any persons described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) who are employees of the City and County of San Francisco.
  • (g) Amendments to subdivision.
  • (f) Made by the act adding this subdivision shall be applied retroactively to January 1, 2010.

In essence, if you are within a prescribed department and in certain circumstances performing the correct duties, you are entitled to receive Labor Code Section 4850 benefits.  This benefit is salary continuation for one year which is not taxable. Implied within salary continuation is the continued provision of health care benefits and pension contribution. Therefore, during the period you are collecting Labor Code Section 4850 time, you should not have to pay for your health insurance or pay for your pension from anything other than what would have come out of your normal salary or paycheck.   If you exceed your Labor Code Section 4850 time, and continue to be totally temporarily disabled, you will be placed upon State Rate and , may be obligated to pay for health insurance benefits. Pension contributions may terminate as well.

What do I receive when I am on Labor Code Section 4850 Time?

You should receive your salary non-taxable and there should be your usual deductions, i.e. union dues, life insurance.

Can there be breaks in Labor Code Section 4850 Time?

Labor Code Section 4850 Time is to be paid the way State Rate, Total Temporary Disability, is paid. Therefore, you are entitled to receive up to one year of the benefit within a 5 year period from the date of injury.  Labor Code Section 4850 Time should be able to be broken up into periods smaller than one year if there is a return to work and a subsequent total temporary disability period.

How long does Labor Code Section 4850 Time last?

Labor Code Section 4850 benefits last for one year for each date of injury.  Therefore, if there is a new injury, a new Labor Code Section 4850 period is created and a new year of eligibility should begin. If an injured worker has two claims and the worker is disabled on both injuries concurrently, the claims administrator may try to argue the TTD is running concurrently and thereby limit the Labor Code Section 4850 exposure.

How can my Labor Code Section 4850 Time end?

The benefit can terminated for a variety of reasons. First, the one year of benefits were paid out. If so, and if you remain totally temporarily disabled, you will continue to receive benefits at the State Rate.  Second, the five years from the date of injury has occurred, and upon that basis the claims administrator cuts off the benefits at that point.  If so, you may be in a position at that point where you may no longer be able to collect any TTD benefits. Third, the claims administrator stops the payment of benefits based upon termination of employment, resignation from employment, or receipt of disability pension retirement benefits.

How can a Termination of Employment effect my Labor Code Section 4850 Time?

A termination can terminate Labor Code Section 4850 time.   For example, an officer can be terminated for misconduct arguably should not be entitled to salary. Therefore, salary continuation could not be paid. Certain circumstances may be controversial concerning a termination and whether it was legitimate. Legal consultation is recommended in those circumstances.

How can a Resignation of Employment effect my Labor Code Section 4850 Time?

A resignation most likely will bar the receipt of Labor Code Section 4850 Time. Again, the benefit is salary continuation.  A resignation terminates the employment and therefore ends the payment of salary.

How can Retirement effects my Labor Code Section 4850 Time?

Per the Section, if a pension is granted earlier than the completion of the Labor Code Section 4850 time, or the provision of advanced payments of pension, this may trigger the termination of the Labor Code Section 4850 Time.

At the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, we specialize in helping our clients with their workers’ compensation claims. With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, we are here to assist with any questions a person in Southern or Central California who receives workers’ compensation may have. We welcome anyone who needs assistance to contact us today concerning any workers’ comp questions or issues.