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Governor Brown Vetoes Workers’ Comp Changes

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November 22, 2017
Edward Smith


Governor Brown Vetoes Workers’ Comp Changes

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer. Governor Jerry Brown has returned Assembly Bill 570 without his signature, vetoing the recently proposed rollbacks to workers’ compensation rules.

Proposed Changes

AB 570 was proposed in an attempt to modify the apportionment rules regarding permanent disability claims. The bill was designed to reduce a perceived gender bias in the workers’ compensation system. According to the bill’s author, the apportionment of pre-existing conditions that involve pregnancy or childbirth as causing or contributing to a subsequent work related injury constitutes gender discrimination, since only female workers must contend with their disabilities being apportioned in this fashion.

Third Veto

This bill- seeking to prohibit the apportionment based on pregnancy, childbirth, and other medical conditions related to those reproductive functions- is the third since 2015 addressing this phenomenon. AB 1643 (2016) pursued similar changes, prohibiting apportionment based on pregnancy, menopause, osteoporosis, and carpal tunnel syndrome, but was rejected at the Governor’s desk after passing the legislature. AB 305 (2015), the third recent bill on the subject, was also vetoed by Gov. Brown.

Signing Message from the Governor

Governor Brown vetoed AB 570, offering similar reasons cited against previously submitted bills. The signing message accompanying the veto was quick to agree with the author that gender discrimination has no place in the workers’ compensation system, but responded to assertions of bias by stating that the system was in actuality gender-neutral and was only concerned with permanent disability resulting directly from work related injuries. The Governor went on to suggest that creating exceptions to the apportionment rules that affect only women would ironically create a gender-based classification that would not stand a constitutional challenge.

Apportionment, As Is

When an employee is injured during the scope of their work, they are generally covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policy. When such an injured person files a claim, after they receive treatment, a qualified doctor will conduct an evaluation and draft a report describing any ongoing temporary or permanent disability. The doctor will then be able to notify the claims administrator about the injured person’s disability, including the degree to which that injury was work related and how the injury will impact that person’s life. The process by which an injury’s casual factors are numerically calculated is called apportionment. The resulting disability rating is computed using a formula.

Related Articles by Sacramento Worker’s Compensation Lawyer, Ed Smith

Sacramento Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Lawyer. Do you or someone you care about need help navigating the complexities of a disability claim? Please call me right away at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free and friendly advice with no obligation. I can also be reached online through my website,

I have been practicing law since 1982, helping people injured in accidents and their families recover. You can find some of my valued client reviews posted on: Google, Yelp, and Avvo.

I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates, an association that recognizes trial lawyers who have won cases worth one million dollars or more.

See summaries of my past Verdicts and Settlements on my website,

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Turret Lathe Operator by Howard R. Hollem. Public Domain
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