As we close out Black History Month this week, we're reminded of the great contributions African Americans have made to labor movements in California and across the country, which AFL-CIO so beautifully highlights in several profiles on their website.
But we're also reminded of the great inequities that still corrupt the workplace. A USC study published in 2017 showed African American and Latino men were most at risk of being injured on the job, most likely caused by disparities in economic opportunities leading them to take on more dangerous jobs.
African Americans also had the highest risk of disability related to on-the-job injuries at 4.4 percent for workers aged 50-64.
And when these workers are injured, are they getting a fair shake from the workers' compensation system? When looking at the City of Jackson v. WCAB ruling from last year, the answer would be a big NO.
Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed our legislative effort to correct this egregious ruling which would have prevented the use of genetics (i.e. race) in determining percentage of disability.
But we won't take his NO for an answer. We will continue to work with our colleagues in labor to eliminate discrimination and overturn the City of Jackson ruling to ensure everyone is treated fairly under the law. Ta-Nehisi Coates reminds his audiences to always remember that today is only a moment in a 400-year struggle... "It is the work of generations."