FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Contact: Steve Hopcraft,
San Diego Union Tribune
State Senate alters limits on workers' comp
March 11, 2008
SACRAMENTO – The state Senate approved legislation yesterday that would
prohibit doctors from considering age, race or genetic factors in determining the
size of workers' compensation benefits for employees who suffer job-related
The bill by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, would alter a key provision of
the sweeping workers' compensation changes promoted by Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger and employers in 2004.
Among other things, the reforms require doctors to determine what “other factors”
besides a job-related injury contributed to a worker's disability. Benefits can be cut
if the physician decides that an earlier injury or a medical problem contributed to
Critics say the 2004 legislation has led to awards that discriminate based on a
worker's age, race, gender, national origin or genetic predispositions.
In one case, a physician in San Diego concluded that the workers' comp benefits
for a cook should be cut in half because he was black and therefore had a genetic
CAAA Release: State Senate alters limits on workers' comp, 3.11.2008, page 2
predisposition to have high blood pressure or hypertension.
In several other cases, women have had their benefits slashed because physicians
have decided women are more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome,
supporters of the Migden bill say.
They say the measure would require doctors to base their assessments on medical
evidence, not risk factors.
Opponents say it could result in employers being unfairly charged for that portion
of a disability not caused by a job-related injury.
A 23-13 vote sent the measure to the Assembly.
Posted 03-11-2008 1:04 PM by caaaAdmin