California Bans Denying Workers’ Compensation in Racially Motivated Attacks

By Staff Report

Oct. 14, 2009

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation into law Monday, October 12, that prohibits the denial of a workers’ compensation claim filed by an employee attacked because of race, sexual orientation or religious creed.

The legislation, A.B. 1093, also known as Taneka Talley’s Law, was introduced after the death of a black employee who was stabbed to death in 2006 while on the job at a Dollar Tree store.

The employer’s insurer initially denied death benefits for the woman’s 8-year-old son. The insurer argued that because the perpetrator said he sought to kill a black person, there was a personal connection between the attacker and the employee unrelated to Talley’s employment.

The new law, which takes effect January 1, 2010, also bars denying coverage because of a personal connection when someone is killed or injured on the job due to their national origin, age, disability or gender.

Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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