Workers' Compensation

View from the Chair

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This month I am highlighting the Legislation Subcommittee of the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the California Lawyers Association (CLA).

The Legislation Subcommittee is Chaired by Hon. Kenneth Peterson (Ret.) and Co-Chaired by our CLA Board of Representative Liaison Kenny Sheppard.

This is by far one of our busiest subcommittees.

Below please find a summary of what this subcommittee has been up to recently written by Hon. Peterson:

“For the past several years, the Legislation subcommittee, comprised of judges and attorneys representing both employees and employers/insurers, focused on a complete review of all Labor Code sections pertaining to workers’ compensation to achieve the following:

  • Update Divisions 4, 4.5, and 4.7 of the Labor Code to correct clerical errors;
  • Remove anachronisms;
  • Harmonize conflicting sections; and
  • Remove references to gender to the greatest extent possible

In addition to the goals set forth above, it is important to state what the review process does NOT intend: making ANY substantive changes to existing law. The legislative proposal is intended to be “cleanup” in nature.

Senate Bill 899 and the relatively frequent major changes made thereafter, originally inspired this non-partisan undertaking. The subcommittee recently completed its comprehensive review and the Workers’ Compensation Section approved the resulting legislative proposal. The CLA is in the process of seeking a legislative sponsor for submission to the California Legislature for enactment during the current session.

Thank you Hon. Peterson, Kenny, and your entire subcommittee for all you have done in connection with the above.

On another positive note, I recently attended the first ever CLA Winter Leadership Retreat on February 1 on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section. It was a great opportunity for leaders of the CLA to gather to discuss our future. Although the entire retreat was informative I will pass on the five points I found most important.

First, we hired our new Executive Director, Ona Dosunmu, whom I had the pleasure of having lunch with on February 12. By the end of our lunch it was clear Ona was committed to doing all necessary to ensure the CLA flourished in every way possible. We are fortunate to have her on our team. I look forward to collaborating with you in the future, Ona. I admire you very much for all you have accomplished in your life. Congratulations once again on your new exciting role.

Second, we moved into our new office in Sacramento located at 400 Capitol Mall, Suite 650. I hear nothing but great things about out new space. I can’t wait to see it. We all have an open invitation to stop by whenever we want.

Third, most of our 30 CLA staff have been hired to help our around 100,000 members be the best we can be. Thank you Tricia Horan, the Associate Executive Director of the CLA, for having a huge part in the hiring process. You are just as amazing today as when I met you six years ago when I joined the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section and you were our Coordinator.

Fourth, Heather Rosing the CLA president, confirmed the CLA is in a very good position financially.

Fifth and lastly, it was reconfirmed the CLA is the second largest volunteer association of lawyers in the nation.

This is an exciting time for California lawyers because of the CLA. I am certain the CLA will provide all of us with many professional opportunities to help us be the best we can be for those we serve.

Please do not hesitate to email me at with any questions about any of the above or joining the Executive Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Section.

Until next month when the Awards and Recognition Subcommittee will be highlighted.

Maria Sager

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