Think about this the next time you’re watching a football game: NFL players have many of the same rights as other types of employees to collect workers’ compensation benefits if they’re injured on the job. And the fact pro football players travel for their jobs gives them a workers’ comp advantage.
All sides in the NFL labor negotiations hope talks to resolve the players’ lockout are reaching their final resolution. One thing that owners want: an end to a workers’ comp claim system that strongly favors the players.
What’s bothering the owners: the players’ ability to shop their cases from state to state.
California is one state that allows players to file claims years after they’ve retired if they played at least one game in the state.
That part of California’s workers’ comp law was enacted to protect transient workers such as truck drivers. But that system benefits the NFL players, too.
Players choose California for their claims because it has better comp benefits than many other states.
When players file claims for injuries that they allegedly suffered years earlier, it’s difficult for the NFL owners to dispute the claims.
Reports say that if progress is made on other matters, the owners’ may drop the workers’ comp issue.
But not all is lost for the owners. Florida recently passed legislation preventing Florida residents to file workers’ comp claims in other states when they’ve worked temporarily in the other state. A court battle over the law is expected to follow.
Owners can hope that other states follow Florida’s example, and that the new law is held up in court.
Has your company ever been involved in a case in which employees tried to change the state in which they filed for workers’ comp? Let us know in the Comments Box below.
Update: The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement will allow players to file workers compensation claims in states where their teams are not based, a loophole the league had tried desperately to close during negotiations.