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State Senate Acts to Stop Bias in Permanent Disability Cuts!

State Sen. Carole Migden has sponsored legislation to stop doctors from reducing Permanent Disability benefits based on an injured worker's age, race and gender. Senate Bill 1115 would prohibit the consideration of race, religious creed, color, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sex, or genetic predisposition in apportionment decisions.

Unions, seniors and legal associations have rallied behind Migden's bill, which has also been endorsed by some unusual supporters. Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Weintraub - a conservative on most issues - recently wrote that after Governor Schwarzenegger's 2004 changes to the workers' compensation system, some doctors are interpreting apportionment too broadly.

"They have determined that workers' gender, race or age predisposed them to an injury - and they have used those factors to reduce a worker's benefits. In a San Diego case, a black man who developed hypertension because of exposure to toxic chemicals lost half of his disability award after a doctor concluded that African Americans are more susceptible to hypertension."

Columnist Dean Calbreath of the San Diego Union-Tribune also supported SB-1115: "In an age when an African-American, a woman and a senior citizen each has a pretty good shot of becoming president, you'd think that this country is finally evolving beyond discrimination based on race, gender and age. But there's one are where such discrimination appears to be perfectly allowable: workers' compensation insurance."

Click here to read Calbreath's complete article - PDF copy of the document

You can show your support for this bill by contacting your local legislator and requesting that he or she support Senate Bill 1115. To find your local legislator, click here: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/your_legislator.html or to express your concerns on these issues to the governor, click here: http://gov.ca.gov/interact

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