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California workers comp breast cancer bill moves forward

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A bill that aims to better align evaluations of work-related breast cancer with national standards is moving forward in California.

The state Assembly on Monday voted unanimously in favor of A.B. 497, sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego.

The bill would require the state to utilize the American Medical Association’s guidelines on breast cancer evaluations and prevent doctors from using “child-bearing age” as a factor in determining the workers compensation award for a female employee whose work conditions caused her breast cancer, according to the bill, which now heads to the state Senate.

“It’s crazy that women with job-related breast cancer have to jump through so many hoops just to receive the compensation they’re rightly owed,” said Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher in a statement. 

Under the AMA guidelines, doctors are required to evaluate injured workers for all impairments that result from breast cancer and its treatment. Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s office accused the state’s current practice as running “afoul of guidelines set forth by the American Medical Association.”