2016 Ohio Workers’ Compensation News
2016 Ohio Workers’ Compensation News
- Use our news archive to see Ohio workers’ compensation news from other years.
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- See the 2017 rates for Ohio workers’ compensation awards on our rates page.
- The Industrial Commission is reviewing nine administrative rules. Based on its initial review, the Commission has proposed amendments to four of the rules, and suggests no changes to the other five rules. Read more >>
- The BWC is going to update some of its core claims and policy management systems between Thursday, November 10 – Monday, November 14, 2016. As a result, many BWC services, including phone and web services, will not be working. The BWC expects services to resume functioning on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
- The Industrial Commission has issued a new version of the Hearing Officer Manual, titled Adjudications Before the Ohio Industrial Commission. The new Hearing Officer Manual has 19 new provisions. Fourteen provisions were deleted from the previous version, and 85 provisions are in both versions (although they may have been edited).
- The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that an injured worker does not have to establish their right to participate in the workers’ compensation system to pursue a court suit against the employer for discharging them because they filed a workers’ compensation claim. Read more >>
- Since 1982, the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin has been providing information about the Ohio workers’ compensation system. Now you can learn about the history of the Ohio workers’ compensation system by viewing our online archive which currently provides access to issues from the first ten years (1982-1991) of the WCB. For current workers’ compensation information, you can subscribe to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin by filling out the subscription form and returning it (with a check for $95) to Stewart R. Jaffy Co., 306 E. Gay St., Columbus OH 43215.
- Because of logistical concerns related to the Republican National Convention, the Industrial Commission will not conduct hearings in its Cleveland office from Friday, July 15, 2016 through Friday, July 22, 2016. The Commission will resume conducting hearings in Cleveland on Monday, July 25, 2016.
- The legislature passed Am. Sub. H.B. 207 which changed the requirements for an employer to become a self-insured employer, and made certain changes which affect how employers’ experience (which affects the premiums paid by employers) is calculated. The governor signed Am. Sub. H.B. 207 on May 31, 2016. The amendments become effective 90 days after signing.The amendments removed the requirement that an employer or Board of County Commissioners must have a minumum of 500 employees in the state, in order to qualify as a self-insurer. The amendments also enacted R.C. §4123.932, which permits the BWC to charge certain workers’ compensation claims resulting from third party motor vehicle accidents to the surplus fund, rather than the employer’s experience and amends R.C. §4123.931(K) to provide that subrogation amounts recovered in such claims are paid to the surplus fund.
- The governor has appointed interim administrator Sarah Morrison as the new administrator of the BWC.
- The Industrial Commission has updated form IC-32a, the “Application for Lump Sum Payment of Attorney Fees.”
- The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted the state’s appeal from the Court of Appeals’ decision in Ferguson v. State, 8th Dist. No. 102553, 2015-Ohio-4499. Ferguson found the provision of R.C. §4123.512(D) which prohibits injured workers from unilaterally dismissing their complaint when the employer filed the notice of appeal unconstitutional. Ferguson conflicts with a more recent Court of Appeals’ decision in Dillard v. Automation Tool & Die, Inc., 9th Dist. No. 15CA0055-M, 2016-Ohio-529, which found that an injured worker has no right under Civil Rule 41(A)(1)(a) to unilaterally dismiss their complaint in an employer’s R.C. 4123.512 appeal to court.
- The administrator of the BWC, Steve Buehrer, has resigned effective April 15, 2016. The BWC’s chief legal officer, Sarah Morrison, will act as the interim administrator of the BWC until a new administrator is appointed.
- S.B. 27 has been introduced in the legislature. The bill, if adopted, would amend R.C. §4123.68 to provide a presumption that certain types of cancer contracted by fire fighters occurred “in the course of and arising out of” their employment, which would permit them to receive workers’ compensation.The new R.C. §4123.68(X) presumption, which “may be refuted by affirmative evidence” would apply to any fire fighter “who has been assigned to at least three years of hazardous duty.” The term hazardous duty is given “the same meaning as in 5 C.F.R. 550.902, as amended.”
- The Industrial Commission has recently reviewed nine administrative rules, and recommended the following three amendments:
- O.A.C. 4121-3-16 (Motions): Removes current O.A.C. 4121-3-16(E), which provides for motions to include legal citations and renumbers the remaining subsections.
- O.A.C. 4121-3-22 (Inspection of Claim Files): Removes current O.A.C. 4121-3-22(B), which sets forth requirements for accepting an authorization on behalf of an injured worker which lacks the claim number, removes current O.A.C. 4121-3-22(E)(F)(G) and (H) which contained requirements related to physical inspections of claim files, and renumbers the remaining subsections.
4121-3-30 (Emergency Hearings): Amends current O.A.C. 4121-3-30(B)(2) and (C)(2) to provide that the hearing administrator and Commission shall contact the parties and attempt to reach an agreement regarding the date and time of an emergency hearing before scheduling the hearing.
- The Commission determined that O.A.C. 4121-3-17 (Briefs), O.A.C. 4121-3-18 (Administrative Appeals), O.A.C. 4121-3-21 (Change of Address), O.A.C. 4121-3-24 (Fee Controversies), and O.A.C. 4121-3-31 (Waiver for Recreational Activities) did not require any changes.
- See the 2016 rates for Ohio workers’ compensation awards on our rates page.