California’s Legislature has sent a bill seeking to end gender discrimination in the state’s workers’ comp system to Governor Brown. While current workers’ comp law in the state prohibits claims to be expressly denied because of an employee’s gender, age, religion or several other characteristics, a loophole has created shortcomings for female workers by citing so-called “pre-existing conditions” that exclusively or predominantly affect women. The result is that female workers are often compensated less for the same injury than a male worker. The measure, Assembly Bill 305, would eliminate pregnancy and menopause from consideration when determining an injured female employee’s claim and associated apportionment of disability. AB 305 also prevents psychiatric disability or impairment caused by those conditions, or by contemporaneous instances of sexual harassment from being considered when apportioning a work injury. Additionally, AB 305 requires that workplace injuries that cause breast cancer do not receive a lower workers’ compensation rating than the rating for prostate cancer.
Read further details at Workers’ Compensation Institute 360 here.