California delivers blow to player workers’ compensation claims

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Last year at this time, the NFL and NFLPA weren’t able to agree on many things.  Eventually, they agreed on enough things to end the lockout.

But they didn’t agree on everything, including a lingering issue regarding the question of whether players can file workers’ compensation claims in the employee-friendly California workers’ compensation system based simply on having played at least one game there during their careers.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that, earlier this month, the employee-friendly California workers’ compensation system delivered an employee-unfriendly ruling to NFL players.  On May 1, the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board ruled that contractual provisions requiring workers’ compensation claims to be filed in a specific state other than California will be respected.

Thus, if player contracts specify, for example, that a Bengals player must pursue workers’ compensation benefits in Ohio, the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board will be inclined to honor that.

The ruling could help resolve litigation pending throughout the country regarding the question of whether the claims can be pursued in California.  However, the ruling likely is subject to further appeals in California, which means that the current position is subject to change.

6 responses to “California delivers blow to player workers’ compensation claims

  1. yea welcome to the club, this state been delivering financial blows to me just about my whole life, great beaches, beautiful women, great medical jane, and your gonna go broke enjoying it all!!!

  2. personnally, I don’t think millionaires should be able to file for workman’s comp. The system is not there for them, its there for those of us who can’t survive if were out of work. Just because an athlete might have to dial down his lifestyle a bit doesn’t mean he is entitled to taxpayer money so he can keep his 10 cars and multi-million dollar mansion that he never should have bought in the first place.

  3. Pretty sure I can’t work a day in another state and invoke any type of workers compensation. Compensation should come from your home state or your place/State of longest employment. As for California…Tax the weed; fund the need!

  4. The players are taking advantage of the system – period. The State should go by where the contract was signed (which if it is done in California – all claims can be filed here). The Dodgers did that for years. The fact that a player could swing through Oakland or San Francsco for one game, and then come back for medical coverage (that is what they are after) is not fair to the State. There are statutes to suport them doing this, which the State should deal with. But of course, workers compensation reform in California is a complete joke. Same as the judges and administrators who work within the system.

  5. I would recommend those with the strong comments concerning millonaires and taking advantage of the system slow down a little and educate themselves on workers compensation in the state of California and how it truly works.
    I sympathize with your frustrations, but it’s truly misplaced. your anger should be directed at the billion dollar insurance companies not the working citizen.
    And yes, irrespective of how much an individual earns, they should never be precluded for obtaining benefits that they’ve rightfully earned.
    Btw, the notion that every professional athlete is a millionaire is so inaccurate. That is the image that the mainstream portrays, but it’s not true.
    Lastly, this system is not funded by taxpayer dollars.
    It is self-sustained by the money the insurance industry is relugated to pay in order to operate in this state.

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