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Industry Insights

CAAA: The Left Hand Doesn't Know What the Right Hand Is Doing

  • State: California

Think of the California workers’ compensation system. It’s run by the state. It’s supposed to provide no-fault medical treatment and modest financial benefits when a Californian gets injured at work.

Now, think about Cal/OSHA. It’s another department run by the state. It’s supposed to relieve pressure on the Division of Workers’ Compensation by reducing the number of Californians who get injured at work.

When Cal/OSHA doesn’t do its job, the DWC’s job gets harder, and the worker who shouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place ends up not getting timely medical treatment.

The National Library of Medicine reported that of 7,820 valid COVID safety violations, only 32 resulted in a citation. Clearly, no deterrent to careless employer behavior, and it resulted in nearly 2,000 farmworker COVID deaths.

Did the Division of Workers’ Compensation do anything when Cal/OSHA failed so miserably? No.

Did the Division of Workers’ Compensation even know that this was happening at such a scale? No.

Does the Division of Workers’ Compensation think this should be something to care about? There’s nothing that suggests it cares at all.

After all, it wants to keep its hands clean.

This opinion by the California Applicants' Attorneys Association communications team is republished with permission from the CAAA website.

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