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NFLPA to protest Calif. bill blocking out-of-state workers comp claims

Posted On: Apr. 15, 2013 12:00 AM CST

NFLPA to protest Calif. bill blocking out-of-state workers comp claims

The National Football League Players Association is set to hold a protest Monday against a California bill that would block workers compensation claims from out-of-state professional athletes.

A.B. 1309 would exempt minor and major league professional athletes from filing workers comp claims in California if their team is based outside of the state, according to the California Legislature website. Currently, California's “cumulative trauma” provision in its workers comp law allows players to make a claim in California if they have played at least one game in the state.

The legislation would apply to professional baseball, basketball, football, hockey, or soccer players who play temporarily in California.

In a statement Thursday, the NFL players union said it would hold a protest Monday afternoon at the California state capitol. The union argues that A.B. 1309 would help team owners "circumvent their responsibility under the law to the health and safety of their employees."

"Professional sports teams and organizations have a fundamental, moral and legal responsibility to the health and safety of their employees," the union's statement reads. "Workers compensation is a right and a law that should be protected for the health and safety of all workers."

Recent court cases have prevented or could block NFL players from filing California workers comp claims based on arbitration awards that require them to seek benefits in the states were their teams were located.

California claims from several former Kansas City Chiefs players were blocked by the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., this month. And the U.S. District Court in San Francisco consolidated three lawsuits from 67 former NFL players who seek to file California comp claims from out of state.