A California employer may not prohibit an employee from providing voluntary emergency medical services, such as CPR, in response to a medical emergency, according to a law approved by the Governor last week. 

The law has a few caveats. An employer may have a policy authorizing trained employees to provide those services but, even with such a policy, any available employee may voluntarily provide those services if a trained and authorized employee is not “immediately available” or is otherwise unable or unwilling to do so.

Also, an employer may prohibit an employee from performing emergency medical services on a person who has expressed the desire to forgo resuscitation or other medical intervention through any legally recognized means such as an advance health care directive or legally recognized health care decision-maker.

The law notes specifically that it does not impose any duty on an employer to train employees regarding emergency medical services or CPR.