Class Action Lawsuit Filed Alleges California Workers' Compensation System Discriminates Against Women
Does California Workers Compensation Discriminate Against Women? – Many women as well as men have been fighting wage inequality, also called “equal pay.” Advocates of equality have long lobbied the government and proposed legal changes in order to address systematic wage inequality between men and women. However, despite their extensive efforts and certain victories, inequality unfortunately continues with no end in sight. Advocates continue to fight systematic sex inequality and have filed a class action lawsuit in California, Page et al v. Parisotto et al.
Page et al versus Parisotto et al is a class action lawsuit formally brought forward on July 6, 2016 by three California female workers (Janice Page, Leticia Gonzales and Doreen Hansen) along with the Service Employees International Union California Council. The lawsuit alleges that California’s Workers Compensation System engages in discrimination against women. The suits proponents claim that the current system compensates women less than men for the same type of injuries that may be recoverable on claims. In that, it attributes injuries resulting from the job to the pre-existing condition of sex (being a woman in this case). The lawsuit, therefore, serves to challenge the system and stop the expansion of the already existing wage gap between men and women by curbing discrimination in the work comp system. By attributing the unjust compensation results to the system’s assumptions and preconceived notions regarding women, this case highlights that “being a woman is not a pre-existing condition.”
Selected Plaintiff Stories And Statistics Alleged in Lawsuit
The Department of Industrial Relations believe that the plaintiff’s counsel's claim serves nothing but an agenda to undermine the current workers compensation system. The department’s director claims there is no evidentiary grounds to substantiate the lawsuit and that the department as a whole will continue to support and defend the system as it currently stands. However, the following stories and statistics may show otherwise:
- Plaintiff Leticia Gonzales, technician – 40: diagnosed with work-related carpal tunnel syndrome by QME resulting from repetitive trauma. Although the QME realized that her 17 years of repetitive typing caused the syndrome, the QME also claimed that such issues appears mostly in females of her age. Therefore, attributing 20% of the syndrome that she was a 40 year old woman; resulting in a smaller compensation award of permanent disability than what would have been awarded if the applicant had been male.
- Plaintiff Veronica Keely, events manager: also suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. During her first appointment with the QME, she had her baby with her. Hence, they asked her multiple questions regarding breastfeeding in attempt to either attribute the syndrome to solely breast feeding or substantiate that the syndrome was aggravated by breastfeeding.
- Plaintiff Janice Page, law enforcement sergeant: suffered from breast cancer, had undergone 5 surgeries, which resulted in mastectomy of her right breast. After filing for workers’ compensation, the panel qualified medical evaluator attributed her cancer to continuous exposure to carcinogens at her job. However, she received no impairment rating for her mastectomy given her age and past child bearing.
- While women who are past childbearing age are compensated 0% for breast removal, men are compensated $25k for prostate removal.
- While the current workers’ compensation system awards 0-5% disability rating, the veterans administration awards breast removal a 30-80% disability rating.
Does California Workers Compensation Discriminate Against Women?
Southern California Workers' Compensation Lawyer Help
Anyone hurt at work has the right to seek out and hire an attorney to combat both case specific and systematic injustice. While larger battles are fought at the legislative level to change the laws to be more fair toward injuries workers, much can still be accomplished for injured workers by attorneys working within the current system. If you are facing a work-related accident, injury or cumulative trauma, The Napolin Law Firm provides strong advocacy for injured workers. To learn facts about workers compensation lawyer help, call The Napolin Law Firm for a free initial case evaluation! Dial 909-325-6032 to speak directly with an experienced work injury attorney.
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