California: NFL players protest proposal to end out-of-state comp claims
Key leaders of both political parties signed on to the bill as former professional football players protested the measure.
A.B. 1309 would close what supporters say is a loophole that allows the out-of-state players to file cumulative trauma claims in California, "regardless of whether they played for a California team or ever actually entered a California field to play," according to California Assemblymember Henry T. Perea, the bill's original sponsor. "It would also close the loophole that allows out-of-state athletes to place 100 percent of the cumulative trauma liability on California-based teams despite having played a minimal amount of time for that team -- while playing for multiple non-California teams in subsequent years."
Perea recently announced additional sponsors to the legislation and said the bill enjoys "both bicameral as well as bipartisan support." The chairs and vice chairs of the California Assembly Committee on Insurance and the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations are now authors of the bill, he explained.
The legislation would also apply to professional baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer players. The bill would allow only players from California teams to claim workers' comp.
But opponents argue the bill makes it impossible for professional athletes to receive workers' comp for which they collectively bargained.
"Let's get the facts straight," said a statement from the NFL Players Association. "Workers' compensation is a collectively bargained benefit that is paid for from the professional athletes' side of the salary cap (except baseball), and is not paid for by the taxpayers of California.As part of the collective bargaining process, the athletes agreed to have less money available for salaries in order to ensure that they would have workers' compensation benefits. AB 1309 only helps the owners circumvent their responsibility under the law to the health and safety of their employees."
The legislation was referred to the Assembly Committee on Insurance.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 29, 2013
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