WHEREAS, women of all ages have 20-40% higher injury rates than men in the same jobs, and women’s injury rates increase with age as male rates decline with age, resulting in a 50% higher injury rate for women over the age of 55; additionally, 64% of mental stress claims are made by women caused by workplace abuse, including 35% of working women who are subject to sexual harassment, and
WHEREAS, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed through changes in Workers’ Compensation insurance that reduced permanent disability compensation for women, based on the assumption that lower bone density caused by osteoporosis, pregnancy and menopause are the true causes for many workplace injuries for women. This gender discrimination runs contrary to the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act, a central tenant of which is that being a woman is not a pre-existing medical condition.
WHEREAS, Governor Schwarzenegger’s changes and other discriminatory policies are deeply embedded into the workers compensation system, as evidenced by the facts that carpal tunnel syndrome – a disorder that disproportionately effects women – too often has a disability rating of 0%; that breast cancer contracted as a result of dangerous workplace exposures has a disability rating of 0% for many women; and the fact that first-responder professionals are granted presumptions related to their injuries with the sole exception being hospital nurses – a field dominated by women – who experience higher than acceptable incidences of contracting blood-borne diseases as a result of their work.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party declares that current Workers’ Compensation insurance regulations and laws unfairly impact working women, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party urges policy makers to make California a better place for working women by promoting workplace equality and modernizing worker’s compensation laws to correct gender-based discriminatory policies.
Authored by Christine Pelosi, Chair CDP Women’s Caucus
Supported by the CDP Women’s Caucus, the Alameda County Democratic Party, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the Marin Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of Orange County, the Sacramento County Democratic Party, the San Francisco Democratic Party, the San Mateo County Democrats, the Santa Clara Democratic Party, the Stanislaus County Democratic Party, the Yolo County Democratic Party, The Women Democrats of Sacramento County, CDP Vice-Chair Alex Gallardo-Rooker, CDP Vice-Chair Eric C. Bauman, CDP Secretary Daraka Larimore-Hall, CDP Controller Hilary Crosby