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California Governor signs bill to limit workers comp for athletes

When a person in California, including in the Los Angeles area, is hurt on the job he or she is usually eligible for workers' compensation. However, not all companies or insurers want to pay those fees which is why it’s important for a person to know his or her rights

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed off on a bill that will limit workers’ compensation claims by professional athletes in the state of California. The new law means that professional athletes, including former NFL players, will have to prove that they played a large portion of their careers for California teams in order to claim disability benefits from the state. According to the new law, athletes who played a minimum of either two years or 20 percent of their career for California-based teams will still be eligible for workers’ compensation.

The new law means that the NFL and other sports organizations will be able to avoid thousands of possible claims of head trauma by former players. Supporters of the law say the state’s system was being abused, while critics countered that wealthy teams and insurers will now be able to avoid responsibility for workers who are hurt on the job.

This new law could save the state of California millions of dollars in workers’ compensation claims from professional athletes who have played in the state. Workers’ comp laws and regulations are under constant review in California. Therefore, it is important for anyone who has been hurt in a workplace injury to understand how the law applies to his or her situation. Speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney can be a big help.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “California limits workers' comp sports injury claims,” Ken Bensigner and Marc Lifsher, Oct. 8, 2013.

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