March 3, 2020
On March 19, 2020, the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board issued the attached en banc decision in response to the Covid-19 emergency which will affect how you administer some of your claims. The WCAB has temporarily suspended various rules of practice and procedure as follows: (1) the WCAB will only serve documents electronically and not by mail; (2) with respect to compromise and release documents, signatures of witnesses are not required. Signatures of all the parties to a compromise and release are still required but may be electronic. However, this does NOT affect stipulations with request for award. It is still required that applicant’s actually “wet ink” sign a stipulated findings and award.); (3) all filing deadlines have been extended to the next day after a closed district office is reopened; (4) WCJs and arbitrators have an unlimited extension of time within which to issue reports in response to petitions for reconsideration or removal; (5) applications and lien claims will not be dismissed for failure to appear at a hearing.