Several big businesses and unions in California have been working to revamp workers' compensation. Now, it would appear that Governor Brown is backing their proposed changes. The question becomes whether or not the changes to the workers' compensation system are really going to help injured workers.
The plan has not yet been introduced to the California legislature, but there is already public debate on the proposed changes. One side says that the changes would actually hurt injured workers, and the other side is saying it would help. The architects of the changes, and now the Governor of California, are saying that the proposed changes would streamline the system by reducing inefficiencies, fraud and litigation, and provide more in benefits to permanently disabled workers, which they say would also ultimately save the state money.
The California Applicants' Attorneys Association and attorneys, all of whom work to secure benefits for those who are injured on the job, including those who are permanently disabled, insist that the plan would reduce benefits to injured workers. Who is right? Only time will tell. Regardless of what changes are made or when, the important thing is to ensure that injured and permanently disabled workers are taken care of.
Anyone injured on the job has certain rights, and those rights need to be safeguarded. The workers' compensation system can be confusing and frustrating, which is the last thing anyone needs while they are recovering from an injury or facing a disability. Making the system more efficient would be helpful, but even then, anyone injured on the job or facing a disability may want to make sure they are receiving all of the benefits they deserve.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Brown administration backs proposed workers' comp overhaul," Aug. 16, 2012