Workers’ Comp Benefits May Increase in Calif.

February 5, 2002

Gov. Gray Davis has reached an agreement with organized labor, trial lawyers, and Democratic lawmakers to increase benefits for injured workers, while at the same time, restricting employers’ costs for providing workers’ compensation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The legislation would increase benefits for injured workers to $602 a week in 2003 and to $840 in 2006. Currently, benefits are at $490 a week. Subsequent to 2006, increases would occur automatically based on the annual percentage that wages increase in California. This would be a major victory for organized labor.

Additionally, benefits would double from the current $196,00 in 2006 for families of worker’s killed on the job.

Ultimately the proposed benefits package will cost an approximate $2.4 billion extra per year.

The state Senate was anticipated to take up the bill on Feb. 4 then awaits passage by the Assembly. If approved, it could go to Davis as early as this week.

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