Event Recap

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for California workers’ compensation benefits was made possible by a provision in reform legislation in 1993 which created Labor Code §3201.5. Public entities, construction contractors and union employers can employ “carve-outs” to create alternative ways to expeditiously deliver workers’ compensation benefits and resolve disputes without having to go through the cumbersome WCAB process. Artai walked the audience through the pros and cons, and several audience members shared their experiences.

January 1, 2024 saw the sunset of most of the workers’ compensation legislation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic; however employers are still managing workers’ compensation claims and the persistence of health issues from long COVID. John presented a concise overview of the sunsetted laws, with a caveat that we may see at least some of them resurrected through legislation. COVID claims have been wending their way through the WCAB and he shared examples of how impairment ratings are being determined by analogy using the AMA Guides. Attendees left with a good understanding of the long-tail impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation costs.