Store Research

SENATE BILL 818 (LUCE – 1917)


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Senate Bill 818 was entitled, an “act to promote the comfort, health, safety and general welfare of the people of this state as affected by injury causing the disability or death of employees in the course of their employment . . .” [hereinafter referred to as “the 1917 Workmen’s Compensation Insurance and Safety Act” or “the 1917 Act”].  (See Exhibit #1d) 


Senate Bill 818 was introduced on January 26, 1917 by Senator Edgar A. Luce apparently at the request of the Industrial Accident Commission.  (See Exhibits #1a and #9a)  The bill was heard in the Judiciary Committee of the Senate and the Insurance Committee of the Assembly.  (See Exhibit #2)  Two amendments were made to Senate Bill 818 during legislative consideration.  (See Exhibits #1b, #1c, and #2)  The bill became law, after receiving legislative and gubernatorial approval, as Chapter 586 of the Statutes of 1917.  (See Exhibits #1d and #2)


Neither the committees hearing this bill, nor its author nor the Governor have left documentation surviving on its consideration.  Looking through the contemporary 1917 trade association and lobbyists’ periodicals as well as contemporaneous law reviews and treatises in an effort to obtain commentary on the history of the bill, we found and include herewith publications by the California State Federation of Labor and the Labor Clarion.  (See Exhibits #7 and #9)


The Labor Clarion described Senate Bill 818 as follows:


New Workmen’s Compensation act, proposed by the Industrial Accident Commission; many improvements, reduces waiting period to ten days, establishes limited choice of physician, abolishes action for damages but doubles compensation in cases of wilful [sic] and serious misconduct of employer.

(See Exhibit #9a, page 2)