A new bill proposed by Assemblywoman, Lorena Gonzalez, in California may damage gender equality.
Bill A.B. 1643 prohibits people from receiving workers’ compensation during pregnancy, menopause, osteoporosis, or carpel tunnel syndrome if they suffer from any physical or psychological injuries.
Jason Schmelzer, a California-based legislative advocate discussed the bill at the 2016 California Coalition, Workers’ Compensation Conference. “The provision is basically telling the employers in the state of California that they are financially responsible for nonindustrial disability that they did not cause, making this no longer a workers compensation system but just a compensation system.”
The bill is thought to be discriminatory for women causing a lawsuit to be filed against the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and other people alleging women do not have the right to obtain compensation due to Bill A.B. 1634.
Schmelzer comments on the lawsuit by saying, “[this suit is] a sign that this is going to be taken seriously and it has begun to be pursued seriously.”
This bill is planned to take effect on January 1, 2017.