Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004
From: Vanessa Else firstname.lastname@example.org
The workers of California need your help. Governor Schwarzenegger,
along with some very rich companies, are attempting to reform the
Workers' Compensation system to the detriment of California Workers. If
you have any energy, money, or inclination to stop this evil from
occurring, please read on.
Personally, I'm not affected by the changes because I intend to get the
hell out of California as soon as my partner and I can financially swing
it in a few years, but for those of you left here, for those of you who
intend to have children here, for those of you who have friends here, or
those of you who just care about others, this matters a lot.
I was injured on the job in 2001 (a cumulative injury). I complained to
management about working conditions and filed a Workers' Compensation
claim in March of 2002. Ten days after filing my claim, the employer
threatened to fire me for "insubordination" and gave me an option for
"voluntary" termination in exchange for 3 months pay. I took the money
and left the company because I was convinced that if I stayed, I would
be further handicapped and lose my job anyway because an "at will"
employer can fire you merely because they don't like the color of your
eyes. That's when my education about the California Workers'
Compensation system began, and it's been a nightmare ever since.
The California Workers' Compensation system is truly a big mess, but
Governor Schwarzenegger is lending his support to reforms proposed by an
evil organization known as the Committee for Workers' Compensation
Reform and Accountability (http://www.reformworkerscomp.com).
It's largest supporters are Grimmway Enterprises ($1 million), Sunview
Vineyards of California ($250,000), Esparza Enterprises ($250,000),
and Foster Poultry Farms ($250,000). That information is at:
Note that Grimmway has been cited by the National Labor Relations Board
for unfair labor practices. See:
and Foster Farms Poultry has a less than sterling labor and
environmental record as well. See:
The CWCRA is made up of businesses -- not doctors, lawyers, or injured
workers. Even Costco has tables at all 98 of its California outlets,
staffed by company employees encouraging shoppers to support the
initiative. See the article at:
The CWCRA and the Republican money-grubbing Governor under the guise of
creating a more business-friendly environment in California are
supporting an initiative that would:
· Eliminate "free choice of physician" by injured workers.
· Restrict medical treatment provided to injured workers.
· Eliminate recognition of the effects of pain associated with work
· Severely restrict the worker's right to contest medical decisions in
a fair and timely manner.
· Eliminate the right of both the worker and the employer to get an
additional QME evaluation after an unrepresented worker hires an attorney.
· Establish higher thresholds for causation which preclude benefits,
particularly for workers with cumulative injuries (>50% industrial
· Create a confusing three-tiered permanent disability structure that
will unfairly reduce benefits for many workers who are able to return to
work but who will have no guarantee of continuing employment.
· Eliminate meaningful penalties for unreasonable delays or denial of
· Restrict rights of workers in "carve-out" programs, eliminating their
right to legal representation.
· Reduce disability ratings of "self-rehabilitated" workers who become
· Not require insurers to lower premiums to reflect the lower costs
resulting from these severe and unfair take-aways.
ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSING THE INITIATIVE
There are two organization opposing the initiative, but between them,
they have raised only about $145,000, which is very little compared to
to the $1,750,000 raised by CWCRA. These organization are:
California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery
California Applicants' Attorneys Association
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you can, please write letters to your state representatives and the
Governor. Talk about this with other California workers and encourage
them to take action. Contribute money to the CSIMS and the CAAA if you
can. Boycott the companies who endorse the CWCRA and let them know you
are boycotting them because they support the CWCRA. A list is at:
California Workers need your help!