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Lawsuit alleges gender bias in workers' compensation awards

South Carolina residents will likely know that the wage gap between male and female workers has been a contentious political topic for many years, but they may not be aware that women are sometimes awarded lower workers' compensation benefits due to their gender. A class action lawsuit has been filed in California by women who say that they were awarded lower benefits than similarly-injured men would have received. The women claim that their benefits would have been between 20 and 80 percent higher had they been men.

While many associate workers' compensation benefits with hazardous professions such as mining and construction that are generally dominated by men, positions that have traditionally been filled by women can also cause health problems. Conditions caused by repetitive actions, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, can be debilitating, and persistently high injury rates make nursing one of the nation's statistically most dangerous occupations.

The women behind the California lawsuit were all told that their workers' compensation benefits had been reduced because of their gender, and officials in the state do not deny that about 11,000 injured or sick female workers are awarded lower benefits each year than a man with a similar condition would have received. The plaintiffs are calling for a ban on considering gender when benefit amounts are determined and a training program to be instituted to prevent gender bias in the future.

Attorneys with workers' compensation experience may have experienced this kind of gender bias, and they could seek to protect their female clients from it by examining their claims paperwork carefully and taking steps to ensure that any supporting medical evidence is likely to withstand scrutiny. Attorneys could also advocate on behalf of women whose claims have been disputed or denied.

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Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
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