Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Promise Made, Promise Kept:
Workers’ Comp Reform Signals
Strong Progress Toward a Better Business Climate
Governor Schwarzenegger kept his long-standing
promise to clean up California’s workers’
compensation system by leading lawmakers to
consensus on one of the biggest impediments to our
economic recovery. Throughout the lengthy
negotiations, the Governor held out for a solution
without rate regulation that would lower premiums.
The agreed-upon bill will lighten the cost of doing
business in California and help heal our economic
climate, making our state more competitive in
attracting companies and expanding job growth.
Among the substantial reforms are:
INDEMNITY PAYMENTS AND STATEWIDE FIXES
Reduction in the cost to businesses through
managing medical costs and restructuring indemnity
- Creation of fair and impartial treatment under
the law for employers by refining the "liberal
- Elimination of subjective "work capacity
guidelines" and replacement with objective earning
- Curbs in the abuse of permanent disability
benefits by limiting awards for those who are able
to return to work.
- Prohibitions against multiple permanent
disability awards for the same injury.
- Requirements that disputing parties use a
single evaluator to perform disability
evaluations, thereby eliminating expensive
manipulation of the system with dueling doctors.
- Encourages return-to-work opportunities for
injured workers by reducing costs to businesses
that accommodate injured workers in the workplace.
- Prohibitions against workers receiving
disability payments for injuries, or portions of
injuries, occurring outside of work.
- Caps on temporary disability payments after
- Reinforcement of controls created in SB 228 so
that over-utilization of the system is truly
- Eliminating the onerous penalty provision in
Labor Code 5814 so that penalties are assessed on
the actual late payment rather than the entire
- Elimination of the SB 228 requirement that
insurers inspect the safety program of every
business, including those with miniscule safety
risks. Instead, it requires the inspection of high
- Shifts in benefits from minor to more severe
injuries. This proposal will have significant
savings since most injuries in the system are
rated as minor.
Provisions for the use of objective American
Medical Association guides on evaluating
impairment ratings to improve the consistency of
- Provisions that require workers to use
employer-specified network physicians for the
entire duration of their treatment.
- Establishment of an independent medical review
process so that doctors make treatment decisions,
- Permanent and total repeal of the primary
treating physician presumption.
- Allows workers to seek immediate medical
treatment, reducing the potential for expensive
litigation in the system. This provision does not
expand benefits beyond those allowable in current
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2004, All Rights