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Non-CA Professional Athlete? NO CA COMP FOR YOU!

October 11th, 2013

Good news, dear readers!  After a long uphill battle, several angry articles from applicants’ attorneys, and the temporary attention of the non-workers’ compensation world, Assembly Bill 1309 has received that coveted sign of approval – the Brown mark signature.

For those just tuning in and not inclined to read through the prior posts on the topic, AB-1309 is a response to the epidemic of cumulative trauma claims by professional athletes who have minimal contacts with California, sometimes as little as one game.

Governor Brown has signed AB 1309 into law.  Starting September 15, 2013, cumulative traumas sustained by professional athletes of certain sports, namely baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, or soccer, will be excluded from California’s compensation system if less than 20% of the “duty days” of the last year of employment was spent in California.

Section (d)(1) provides an exception if the athlete spent at least 20% of his or her duty days in California or working for a California team; AND has spent less than 7 seasons working for non-California teams.

Here’s an interesting thought – do coaches count as athletes?  The law doesn’t say (“the term ‘professional athlete’ means an athlete who is employee at either a minor or major league level in the sport of baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey or soccer.”)

Also, AB-1309 took care to leave several prior decisions untouched, including Bowen v. WCAB, Wesley Carroll v. Cincinnati Bengals, and Dennis McKinley v. Arizona Cardinals.

All in all, a great send-off for the weekend, no?

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