CDCR, Heart Presumption, and Custodial Duties

Updated: September 26, 2020




Correctional officers, correctional sergeants, correctional lieutenants, watch commanders, etc. are all eligible for the heart presumption.  However, the heart presumption may not be limited to officers.
 As a CDCR employee, you may be entitled to the heart trouble presumption, which means that if you develop a heart condition while employed by CDCR, it is presumed to be related to your job with CDCR.  

Custodial Duties

This heart trouble presumption only applies to CDCR employees who have custodial duties.  It is not necessary that the employee’s main duties be custodial duties; the issue is does the employee have ANY custodial duties.

In Reeves v WCAB (2000) 65 CCC 359, the 3rd District Court of Appeal held: “Because the Legislature did not limit section 3212.2 to CDC employees whose "principal" or "primary" duties are custodial, unlike the limitations imposed in the similar statutes cited above, we must infer that the Legislature intended the statute to apply to all CDC officers and employees who have any duties that are custodial in nature.”

In CDCR v. WCAB [Alviso] (2016) 81 CCC 608, David Alviso was a vocational instructor who was found to have custodial duties.
So, you can see that the presumption does not have to be only correctional officers, correctional sergeants, etc. and does apply to other staff with custodial duties.

Here are some examples of custodial duties:

  • Supervising inmates
  • Writing CDC-128 or CDC-115
  • Reporting misconduct of an inmate to a correctional officer, correctional sergeant, etc.
  • Observing inmates to make sure they do not harm one another.
  • Observing inmates to make sure they do not steal medical supplies, equipment, or other items.
  • Assisting on instruction from an officer to watch an inmate.
  • Assisting a co-worker who is attacked by an inmate.
  • Responding to a whistle alarm or any other type of alarm.
  • Escorting an inmate from one area to another area.
  • Assisting other staff in restraining a combative inmate.
  • Assisting other staff by putting restraints on an inmate.
  • Assisting correctional staff during a cell extraction

If you are not a correctional officer, but you are staff with custodial duties and you have a heart problem, you should contact our office so we can evaluate your rights.   Also, you should read about the heart presumption by clicking here.