Fighting for Workers' Comp improvements

One of the Teamsters' top legislative priorities continues to be addressing ongoing concerns arising out of the sweeping workers' compensation reforms which were implemented in 2003 and 2004. Accordingly we have registered Teamsters' support and are actively lobbying on the following legislative measures:

Pre-designation of physician

SB 1338 by Senator Carol Migden (D-San Francisco) would permanently allow workers to pre-designate their treating physician for workers' compensation purposes. This is important because the right to pre-designate is scheduled to expire at the end of 2009.

Supplemental job displacement benefit

SB 1189 by Senator Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) would fix a timing problem with the existing supplemental job displacement benefit and would thereby make the benefit more viable for permanently injured workers.

Rate regulation

AB 2692 by Assembly Member Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) would reinstitute rate regulation in the workers' compensation system.

Informational website

AB 507 by Assembly Member Hector de la Torre (D-South Gate) would establish an internet website listing information enabling workers to determine whether their employer is carrying workers' compensation insurance.

Permanente Disability update

In regards to permanent disability, the sitting Administrative Director of the Division of Workers' Compensation, Carrie Nevins, has yet to promulgate an increase to the permanent disability schedule that was promised by the Schwarzenegger administration. Under the so-called workers' compensation "reform" legislation, permanent disability benefits were slashed by an estimated 50% in cases where workers are entitled to permanent disability. About 30% of injured workers no longer get permanent disability benefits at all! It is our understanding that Senate and Assembly Leadership have engaged in conversations with the Administration to urge the Governor to do what he promised.