Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Changes to California Comp Law Could Cost Employers Billions. (Workers' Compensation)

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Changes to California Comp Law Could Cost Employers Billions. (Workers' Compensation)

Article excerpt

The passage of new legislation, A.B. 749, has made injured California workers happy but is creating a panic among some employers.

The bill, which was sponsored by State Assemblyman Ronald S. Calderon, a Democrat, increases workers' compensation benefits for injured workers through 2006. Construction contractors fear their already high workers' compensation costs will increase with the passage of the bill.

The maximum temporary disability benefit will increase from the current $490 per week to $602 per week for injuries occurring after Jan. 1, 2003. Workers injured after Jan. 1, 2004 can expect to receive $728 per week as a maximum temporary disability benefit. In 2005, that benefit will climb to $804.

Employers in California could see an increase in workers' compensation costs of as much as $3.5 billion, and the bill could increase the premiums paid by construction contractors an average of 26 percent, says Dave Bellusci, senior vice president of the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau. …

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