A bill introduced in California would largely prevent professional athletes like those in the NFL from filing cumulative trauma workers’ compensation claims in California if they had not retired from a team based in that state. Spokespeople representing several professional sports associations contend that athletes from teams outside of California are cashing in on workers’ compensation benefits from the state, raising team costs as well as costs of workers’ compensation for all employers in California.
However, NFL players point to the fact that they pay income taxes in California for each game they play there. This, they argue, should allow them to apply for workers’ compensation in the state regardless of the home state of their team. Officials for the leagues have asserted that the intended purpose of the bill is not to curb the ability of legitimately injured players to obtain workers’ compensation benefits but merely to establish standards. The bill is scheduled to go before the Assembly Insurance Committee next week; here’s the bill in its entirety.
Though not directly applicable to workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, the California bill does present an interesting question of workers’ compensation law. While it’s important to keep costs down and establish standards, the right of workers to appropriate compensation for injuries suffered on the job, regardless of profession, must always be preserved. And if you need to file for benefits, our workers’ compensation attorneys are the best in the business; contact us now for a free evaluation.