WCAB Urged To Continue Remote Hearings

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board commissioners heard nearly uniform support for proposals to continue allowing remote operations at the various boards and only limited support for resuming some in-person hearings. The Board’s proposal for a “meet and confer” requirement for Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund cases also received pushback from the head of the SIBTF. … Read More »

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DIR Nearly Ready To Study Fast Growing Funds

Department of Industrial Relations Director Katie Hagen says the Department is nearly ready to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for an in-depth study of the state’s increasingly costly Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund.  Funded by employer assessments, the amount needed each year has more than tripled since 2017 (see chart below). Some of the … Read More »

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WCAB Proposing Rules Update

California’s Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board is proposing changes to its Rules of Practice and Procedure. The proposed updates would formalize and make permanent the option for holding remote hearings and electronic filings/electronic signatures.  Rules for objecting to remote hearings is also on the agenda. The current processes were put in place in response to the … Read More »

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DIR Director Hagen’s Appointment Clears Senate Rules Committee

Katrina Hagen, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointee to head the California Department of Industrial Relations, easily cleared the Senate Rules Committee, but not before facing questioning about key workers’ comp and workplace safety issues. Notably, Hagen (see photo) was asked about pending updates to the state’s med-legal fee schedule, copy service fee schedule, and the rapidly … Read More »

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Workers’ Comp 2021 Assessments Reach Record Levels

The Department of Industrial Relations has announced the 2021 assessment on employers.  The message is that it needs nearly $36 million more from California’s already beleaguered to fund its operations. The total assessment required to support these operations is now in excess of $1.1 billion. Employers are spared again what used to be a standard … Read More »

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Legwork Begins To Replace WCAB’s Case Management System

The California Division of Workers’ Compensation is seeking funds to begin planning for a replacement of the hodge-podge case management system the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board has been using for over a decade. The Division is seeking $864,000 for this fiscal year and another $333,000 next year to conduct the initial planning, such as researching … Read More »

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