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California workers' compensation fraud increase due to obesity?

California employees may be following the latest changes regarding workers' compensation. While workers' compensation is necessary, the most recent changes could potentially open the door for even more workers' compensation fraud. With obesity now being considered a disease, the lives of many could also change. Unfortunately, this could potentially have a negative impact on employers.

A recent article pointed out that while one third of the nation is considered obese, 30 percent of California residents are classified obese. Taking this statistics into consideration, it is easier to see how workers' compensation claims could increase due to injuries that happen on the job that ultimately revert back to the person's obesity. Financially, this could take a huge toll on employers.

Obese workers that sit at a desk daily may claim that is why they are obese, while a person that works on their feet all day could claim their knees or back are injured, but it resorts back to their obesity. Reports indicate this could become a very complicated issue. This could potentially open up the door to numerous workers' compensation fraud cases if employees try to receive payment for old injuries under the new laws. No doubt this is an issue that employees and employers alike will be monitoring.

As this continues to be discussed, California employers are more likely to be on the lookout for workers' compensation fraud. With people that attempt to cheat the system, this could be one more avenue in which they could do so. Employers will likely carefully review each claim so that if legal action needs to be taken, they have the proper documentation to do so.

Source: Source:, "Report: Obesity Moniker to Impact California Workers' Comp," Don Jergler, Aug. 8, 2013

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