SBD/July 9, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Baer, Kasten Pen Op-Ed Backing Bill To Change California's Workers' Comp Law

Baer believes his players deserve workers' compensation benefits
MLB Giants President & CEO LARRY BAER and Dodgers President & CEO STAN KASTEN wrote an op-ed for the FRESNO BEE, stating that "one thing on which the clubs absolutely agree is that, when our players are injured on the field, they should receive access to the best medical care and benefits available -- including, if they choose, workers' compensation benefits in the state of California." But they were "surprised to read some of the assertions made in a recent op-ed opposing common-sense legislation authored by" California Assembly member HENRY PEREA. There is "no question that California workers deserve California benefits, whether they are professional athletes or employees in other professions." But the "issue here is whether players with little to no connection with California should be able to file for these benefits here, especially after filing for the same benefits in their home states." The editorial: "We support and respect California's generosity when it comes to injured workers, but it hurts both our industry and the integrity of the workers' comp system when the Golden State becomes a veritable 'gold rush' for any player, from anywhere, at any time." The Giants and Dodgers support AB 1309 "because it will close a loophole that is disadvantageous to California's baseball clubs and unfairly costs all of California's businesses -- small and large -- millions of dollars every year." The bill "finally will set some much needed standards so that California's system protects in-state workers first, not out-of-state professional athletes at the expense of everyone else" (FRESNO BEE, 7/5).
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