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Comp bill aims to limit cumulative trauma payments

Workers compensation claim

California legislators are considering a bill that could make it more difficult for an employee to gain workers compensation for occupational diseases or cumulative trauma.

Assembly Bill 221, introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, on Wednesday, says that employers would not be liable to cover medical treatment for occupational diseases or cumulative injuries unless the employer authorized the injured worker's medical treatment or the employer accepted responsibility for a worker's injury that is being treated.

An employer also can be liable for medical treatments for a cumulative injury or occupational disease if the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board finds that the treatment is compensable, or if a medical examiner finds that a worker's injury was caused "in whole or in part" by the employer, according to a copy of the bill posted online.

If passed, the bill would be in effect for claims filed on or after Jan. 1, 2018. The bill is scheduled for committee consideration on Feb. 25, according to the California State Legislature website.



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