Workers in many types of professions experience some wear and tear on their bodies, which could result in significant injuries and ailments. This can range from carpal tunnel syndrome to serious head injuries and even death. However, professional athletes experience more significant injuries and ailments than most other types of workers. Now, a proposed California bill is threatening to limit the benefits professional athletes will be able to obtain through the California workers' compensation system
The California State Assembly is currently debating the proposed bill AB 1309, which would limit the allotted time frame for professional athletes to file workers' compensation claims. The bill is mostly being backed by insurance companies as well as owners of professional sports clubs and teams. Under the current state law, professional athletes do not have any time restrictions when it comes to filing for compensation benefits following an injury.
This can have a devastating effect on professional athletes who tend to experience physical injuries from playing sports which do not manifest until decades after they have stopped playing. Under the current California law, athletes are able to submit claims for these types of injuries, which build up over years of repeated physical strain on their bodies. Critics are also worried that if the proposed bill passes it can be used as a template for corporations in other industries to reduce worker rights.
This makes it important for workers to pay close attention to the latest developments in the workers' compensation arena in California. Keeping up-to-date on the most recent changes in law will make it easier for workers to file for benefits in the case of a workplace injury. It is also important to understand how the changes in applicable laws affect the process necessary for submitting claims.
Source: Huffington Post, "The California Bill That Leaves Injured Workers to Fend for Themselves," Sarit Gupta, June 21, 2013