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New bill reduces gender bias in workers' compensation


Many Los Angeles residents work hard to make a living for themselves and their families. This hard work and sacrifice is demanding enough in and of itself, but it can be particularly difficult when individuals put in long hours in unsafe work environments. Safety issues can result in a worker getting injured on the job, which impacts the person's ability to continue working and earning an income.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many California residents in all different kinds of work environments. Individuals of all different shapes and sizes may be subject to injuries on the job, or other medical issues that can prohibit the person from continuing employment. Fortunately, workers' compensation may be available to help provide a financial lifeline to those who are unable to continue earning income for a period of time.

Workers' compensation may not be easily obtainable for all, however. For instance, the California Senate recently approved a bill that addresses certain gender disparities in the workers' compensation system. Current law may make it possible for conditions such as breast cancer, pregnancy and menopause to be labeled as pre-existing conditions. This, in turn, can have an impact primarily on women, when it comes to calculating workers' compensation benefits.

Even when workers' compensation applies equally to all, it can be challenging to obtain benefits if a person does not understand the system. Certain eligibility requirements must be complied with in order to obtain benefits, and it is not always easy to tell what situations are covered by workers' compensation. Accordingly, individuals should ensure they know the law, as well as the particular details of their case that will be important, in order to give themselves the best possible chance of being approved for benefits.

Source: California Health Line, "Calif. Senate approves workers' comp gender parity legislation," Sept. 9, 2015

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