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Some women get paid less in workers' compensation

Minnesotans may be aware that women are often paid less than males for doing the same work. However, they may be surprised to learn that some women are also paid less in workers' compensation due to their gender. This problem is the focus of a class-action lawsuit that has been recently filed in California.

According to the complaint, California women are frequently told that their work-related injuries happened because of their gender, so they are ineligible for full compensation. Each of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit had their benefits slashed by 20 to 80 percent because they are women. According to experts, medical evaluators for workers' compensation cases are overwhelmingly male, and many of them claim that women are statistically more prone to certain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The state estimates that 11,000 injured women have their workers' compensation benefits reduced each year because of their gender.

The lawsuit seeks to eliminate gender discrimination in the state, which means it could help women who are not involved in the complaint. The suit is also asking for a training program on gender bias to help medical evaluators become more sensitive to the claims of injured female workers.

Women who are injured on the job are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, which cover medical expenses and a portion of a worker's salary. It may be helpful to consult with an attorney before filing a workers' compensation claim to ensure that all necessary documentation is included. If a worker has already filed a claim and had it rejected, an attorney could review the case and file an appeal.

Source: New York Mag, "Injured at Work? Your Gender Could Affect How Much You're Paid," Ann Friedman, July 15, 2016

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