Julius Young, longtime partner and workers’ compensation specialist at Boxer & Gerson, LLP, offered commentary on an exhaustively researched article that appeared November 3 on the daily news website, “RH Reality Check.” The site concerns itself with news, analysis and commentary on “Reproductive & Sexual Health and Justice.”
The article, by veteran Brooklyn-based attorney and reporter Jean Stevens, was entitled, “How Workers’ Comp Policies Leave Women to Fend for Themselves.” It detailed the introduction into the California Legislature of a bill designed to achieve equity in doctor’s evaluations of workplace injuries, barring them from factoring in gender-specific conditions such as pregnancy or menopause in their evaluation when those conditions have no proven impact on the injury. Taking them into account may lead to reduced workers’ compensation awards, the bill’s backers said.
Another part of the bill sought to redress a disparity in workers’ compensation diagnoses, in which men’s prostate cancer resulting from workplace factors is rated at a higher level of disability-thus leading to greater awards-than is women’s breast cancer. The discussion on this point became known as the “boobs and prostate debate.”
Young was among a small group of experts contacted to offer perspective on the finer points of the bill and its ultimate political fate, which was vetoed by California Governor Jerry Brown after it passed both houses of the legislature. The veto struck some observers as unexpected given Democratic politicians’ general sympathy with worker interests, but Young had been following the bill all along on his award-winning WorkersCompZone blog and suggested the decision was complicated by Brown’s desire to cause no front-page news at this time in revamping workers’ comp law.
Young’s blog is at http://www.workerscompzone.com/ and the full article in RH Reality Check can be found at http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/11/03/workers-comp-policies-leave-women-fend/.