California Puts the Kibosh on Pro Athlete Workers’ Compensation Claims – California Labor and Employment Attorneys Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik

by Norman B. Blumenthal on October 30, 2012

It’s not a big surprise to many that professional athletes are employees. They work for their various teams, such as the Los Angeles Lakers. Many are surprised to learn, however, that if injured while playing, professional athletes, even those who earn million dollar salaries, are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, because many athletes favor filing for benefits in states that pay out a higher workers’ compensation benefit, states such as California are growing weary of workers' compensation claims from former NFL Players. Just ask former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman, Bruce Matthews.

Matthews went to high school and college in California. Drafted by the Houston Oilers, who became the Tennessee Titans, Matthews played 19 years in the NFL. Though in his football career he played several NFL games in the state of California, Matthews never played for a California NFL franchise.

In 2008, Matthews file for workers’ compensation insurance benefits in California for the pain and disability due to injuries he sustained during his career. The Titans and the NFL Management Council opposed the filing arguing that Matthews' application for benefits in California breached an employment agreement requiring workers' compensation claims to be decided under Tennessee law. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is a California labor and employment law firm that represents California employees with wage and hour claims against their current or former employer. If you feel your California employer is violating FLSA and/or California wage statutes, contact Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik for a free confidential consultation by calling (800) 568-8020.

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