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Gov Brown Vetoes Gender-Based Apportionment Bill

Happy Friday, dear readers!

And happy it is, indeed – lately your humble blogger appears to be delivering nothing but good news to the embattled and oppressed defense community of California.  Today is no exception, although I lay awake at night sometimes, terrified by the terrible price that may come due to employers for their recent spate of good fortune.

Governor Brown has vetoed AB1643 a proposed law that would have made employers the general insurers for certain conditions that affect women, under the guise of preventing apportionment to conditions such as menopause or child birth.

Governor Brown’s veto message it got it completely right: “On the issue of apportionment, this bill creates broad, gender-based exceptions to the rule that employers are liable only for the percentage of permanent disability directly caused by a work-related injury.  As written, the bill would prohibit apportionment to, and thus require employers to pay for, a permanent disability that actually resulted from pregnancy or menopause, or from osteoporosis or carpal tunnel syndrome where these are preexisting conditions or unrelated to work.”

What can I say? Good news indeed.

But, believe it or not, for most people involved this situation is a win-win.  Governor Brown gets to appear as the cool, reasonable head of the state; employers get their feet pulled from the fire of having yet another burden heaped upon them; and the proponents of this bill get to portray themselves as martyrs and crusaders knowing full well that this is bad law – so at least the constituents will be happy.

Make no mistake, dear readers, this kind of thinking – let’s rob the employers just a little bit more – is not going anywhere.  Unfortunately, it is as much a part of California as surfing, guacamole, and the reefer.

They’ll be back!  But, then again… so will your humble blogger.

Have a good weekend!

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