California workers' comp biased against women, new lawsuit alleges

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132242 full

A lawsuit claims California's workers' compensation system discriminates against women.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that permanent disability benefits for women are judged on female stereotypes and that the ratings system ignores harm done to women from certain conditions.

For instance, the suit says two police officers who had work-related breast cancer were found to have no permanent disability from mastectomies, even though both have scars and psychological consequences.

The suit says a woman with disabling carpal tunnel syndrome received fewer benefits because her sex and age were considered "risk factors."

The suit says the workers' compensation system violates equal opportunity rights for women and federal and state anti-discrimination laws.

The Division of Workers' Compensation did not immediately return a request for comment.

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