Is a woman worth less than a man? California’s workers’ comp system seems to believe so. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time rightfully dedicated to raising awareness about one of the deadliest diseases primarily affecting women, it’s important to draw attention to the fact that our system currently allows for a man’s testicles to be more valued than a woman’s breasts.
Women who contract breast cancer as a result of their working environments will receive less benefits than a man who contracts testicular cancer from those same environments. After several previous attempts, the workers compensation lawyers at the California applicants attorneys Association have again sponsored legislation to correct this injustice. Senate Bill 731 (Bradford, D-Gardena) would prohibit the use of race, sex, age, sexual identity, religious creed or other genetic factors in determining the percentage of disability caused by other factors before and after an industrial injury occurs.
The Senate unanimously voted in favor of the bill earlier this year, and we hope the Assembly will follow suit when they return in January and finally give women and minorities the security of knowing they’ll be treated equally under the law. A woman’s worth should not be determined as less than a man’s under any law, especially for the hardworking women who likely already make less than their male counterparts.
Our house will continue to support legislation that affects apportionment. Many of you have heard the word apportionment when it comes to your work injuries and is a difficult concept to grasp as a percentage of your work injury may be attributed to nonindustrial causation, genetic factors, age race and other issues such as past accidents. For more information about how apportionment affects your Worker’s Compensation claim, contact us for a free consultation.