Dateline Oakland. Alas, it would be sexier if I could say this dateline was from Timbuktu, Tunis, or Tbilisi. But the 15th Annual Workers’ Compensation Conference sponsored by the California DWC wrapped up yesterday just a few blocks from my Boxer & Gerson offices. At least the DWC puts on a good conference. There were

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Unless you’re a Central Valley resident, you probably didn’t catch the piece
several days ago in the Stockton record, “A Workers’ Compensation Nightmare” by Record staff writer Joe Goldeen.

Here’s a link to the piece: … /803020322

Stay tuned. I’m attending the statewide DWC conference in Oakland and will be doing a post on news emerging from that.

Julius Young

Alert for all the couch potatos out there.

Time to pull yourself away from reruns of The Addams Family or The Sopranos or Beavis and Butthead. You can watch The Wire or 24 later. Don’t be tempted to start the Laurence Olivier festival-from Hamlet to Marathon Man-this weekend. Why?

I’ve got some better video for you.

The February 27 hearings by the California Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on the workers’ comp anti-discrimination bill (SB 1115) are archived on video on the California Channel. It’s well worth watching: … rch=Submit

Stay tuned.

Julius Young
(you can see Mr. Young’s bio by cliciking here: … 8e81414905

In closed a closed door session this afternoon, California Assembly Democrats decided to give the nod to Assemblywoman Karen Bass to succeed termed out Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

Bass was not in the Assembly in 2004 and did not vote on SB 899, the Schwarzenegger workers’ comp reform bill.

Generally Bass has supported labor interests in the Capitol. She received a 0% rating from the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. You can see that group’s scorecard here:

Bass, an African-American whose term expires in 2010, represents a Los Angeles area district. She has worked as a physicians’ assistant at the Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center and has taught at USC. Her expertise in healthcare issues will probably be a big plus as the legislature addresses healthcare reform and workers’ compensation reform issues. Her bio is found here:

More analysis in the days to come. Check out my post from earlier today on Senate passage of the anti-bias bill.

Julius Young

Earlier today the California Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted in favor of SB 1115, the bill that would ban age, race and gender discrimination in awarding disability compensation to California workers.

The bill will eventually have to make its way through the California Assembly on its way to the governor’s desk.

Among those testifying was Milton Jones of El Cajon. An African-American, Jones had his disability award slashed in half by a doctor who reasoned that since African-Americans have a higher incidence of hypertension, that must have caused one-half of his disability.

If you’re a Costco member you’ve undoubtedly tried their delectable rotisserie chickens. Yum.

Jones served as a relief clerk at Costco, cleaning ovens used to cook the chickens. Using chemical oven cleaners, he developed asthma, hypertension, and bronchitis.

Should he receive half an award on the basis of a race-based theory that his condition was partially “caused” by genetic predisposition as an African-American?

Should a Swedish-American who becomes depressed over events at work in the wintertime receive less because Nordic peoples seem to be susceptible to seasonal affective disorders?

Workers’ compensation should be about individuals, not about stereotyping.

Few will admit it publicly, but a number of insurance defense attorneys have told me privately that they are uncomfortable with the race, gender and age based apportionment stereotyping that is coming into vogue under SB 899.

Thanks should go to State Senator Carole Migden for her hard work on this bill. Workerscompzone will keep following its progress.

Julius Young

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