Free case evaluation

Workers’ Comp a Major Component in New NFL Bargaining Pact

Some Ohio lawmakers and legislators in other states — especially those concerned with workers’ compensation matters — have undoubtedly noted what is going on in California as regards professional athletes and the workers’ comp law in that state.

Make that the players, as well. A rookie from the Cleveland Browns or Cincinnati Bengals, for example, is perhaps reminded by a veteran player that all it takes is participation in one game against a California team in that state to qualify for California workers’ compensation benefits if the player suffers a work-related injury anytime later in his professional career.

National Football League owners tried hard to close that loophole — a player being able to file a claim in a state in which his team is not based — in the vigorously negotiated collective bargaining agreement that was recently executed between the league and players, but the players’ representatives wouldn’t budge on the matter.

“Workers comp is a major benefit when it comes to long-term health care,” stated player rep Drew Brees in a published blog. Brees noted that the player s “will never let the league restrict our health and safety long term.”

California’s law first came into sharp focus after retired Denver Bronco players living in California — none of whom had ever played for a state-based team– filed claims there. The Broncos were then sued by Travelers Insurance.

Reportedly, a move is under way in the California legislature to repeal the law.

Related Resource: Business Insurance, “NFL players’ deal will allow workers’ compensation claims in other states” July 26, 2011