Workers’ comp may be becoming more and more of a women’s issue.
Women are now 47% of the U.S. workforce. As women are a larger part of the workforce, workers’ comp becomes a more important issue for them.
A May 29,2013 study by the Pew Research Center concludes that 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.
That’s a huge social trend. Four out of ten households have mothers as the sole or primary provider!
Of those “breadwinner moms”, 63% are single mothers and 37% are married mothers with a higher income than their husbands. The Pew study does not cite state specific figures, but it would not surprise me if the figures were even higher in California.
Pew also notes that single mothers are “more likely to be black or Hispanic, and less likely to have a college degree.”
Obviously, then, career-altering work injuries may have a significantly disproportionate affect on minority populations.
Policymakers and students of policy (including California’s Commission on Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation) need to be looking at these numbers as the California workers’ comp system is reformed again and again.
In the last decade there has been relatively little attention paid to the concept of adequacy of long term wage replacement benefits. Generally, the focus has been on tamping down systemic costs. Few California legislators have stepped up to advocate for adequate benefits.
Those benefits are key for many “breadwinner moms” and their families.
If nothing else, the issue of how California workers’ comp serves working women deserves more study.
Here is a link to the Pew study:
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/ … nner-moms/
Category: Political developments