State Senator Opposes Changes to Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers' compensation reform legislation (SB 899) signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) two years ago has "benefited businesses" and "the job climate as a whole," as well as state and local governments, according to a San Jose Mercury News opinion piece by Sen. Charles Poochigian (R-Fresno), who sponsored the bill.
However, "employers must be on guard against the continuing pressure to undo the cost-saving reforms," as "[l]egislation is already moving to roll back some of their most significant provisions," including rules involving permanent disability benefits, Poochigian writes.
Opponents of the reforms "relied on a limited study by the Commission on Health, Safety and Workers' Compensation that surveyed a narrow number of claims" to "bolster their calls to roll back" the law, but the study "is not reflective of the system as a whole," according to Poochigian.
Instead, an upcoming study of workers' compensation mandated by SB 899 will offer "a better picture of the full impact of the reforms on workers and employers," Poochigian writes (Poochigian, San Jose Mercury News, 4/13).