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S.B. 127 Enrolled

             1     

LABOR COMMISSION DECISION AMENDMENTS

             2     
2014 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Karen Mayne

             5     
House Sponsor: Don L. Ipson

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Utah Labor Code to address when decisions are final and can be
             10      enforced.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    clarifies when a decision of the commissioner or Appeals Board is a final decision
             14      of the commission;
             15          .    addresses enforcement by filing abstracts with a district court; and
             16          .    makes technical and conforming changes.
             17      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             18          None
             19      Other Special Clauses:
             20          None
             21      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             22      AMENDS:
             23           34A-1-303 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 428
             24           34A-2-212 , as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 375
             25           34A-2-801 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 428
             26     
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             28          Section 1. Section 34A-1-303 is amended to read:
             29           34A-1-303. Review of administrative decision.


             30          (1) A decision entered by an administrative law judge under this title is the final order
             31      of the commission unless a further appeal is initiated:
             32          (a) under this title; and
             33          (b) in accordance with the rules of the commission governing the review.
             34          (2) (a) Unless otherwise provided, a person who is entitled to appeal a decision of an
             35      administrative law judge under this title may appeal the decision by filing a motion for review
             36      with the Division of Adjudication.
             37          (b) (i) Unless a party in interest to the appeal requests in accordance with Subsection
             38      (3) that the appeal be heard by the Appeals Board, the commissioner shall hear the review in
             39      accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures Act.
             40          (ii) [A] Subject to Subsection (2)(b)(iii), the decision of the commissioner is a final
             41      order of the commission unless within 30 days after the date the decision is issued further
             42      appeal is initiated pursuant to this section or Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures
             43      Act.
             44          (iii) In the case of an award of permanent total disability benefits under Section
             45      34A-2-413 , the decision of the commissioner is a final order of the commission unless set aside
             46      by the court of appeals.
             47          (c) (i) If in accordance with Subsection (3) a party in interest to the appeal requests that
             48      the appeal be heard by the Appeals Board, the Appeals Board shall hear the review in
             49      accordance with:
             50          (A) Section 34A-1-205 ; and
             51          (B) Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures Act.
             52          (ii) [A] Subject to Subsection (2)(c)(iii), the decision of the Appeals Board is a final
             53      order of the commission unless within 30 days after the date the decision is issued further
             54      appeal is initiated pursuant to this section or Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures
             55      Act.
             56          (iii) In the case of an award of permanent total disability benefits under Section
             57      34A-2-413 , the decision of the Appeals Board is a final order of the commission unless set


             58      aside by the court of appeals.
             59          (d) The commissioner may transfer a motion for review to the Appeals Board for
             60      decision if the commissioner determines that the commissioner's ability to impartially decide
             61      the motion for review might reasonably be questioned.
             62          (3) A party in interest may request that an appeal be heard by the Appeals Board by
             63      filing the request with the Division of Adjudication:
             64          (a) as part of the motion for review; or
             65          (b) if requested by a party in interest who did not file a motion for review, within 20
             66      days of the date the motion for review is filed with the Division of Adjudication.
             67          (4) (a) On appeal, the commissioner or the Appeals Board may:
             68          (i) affirm the decision of an administrative law judge;
             69          (ii) modify the decision of an administrative law judge;
             70          (iii) return the case to an administrative law judge for further action as directed; or
             71          (iv) reverse the findings, conclusions, and decision of an administrative law judge.
             72          (b) The commissioner or Appeals Board may not conduct a trial de novo of the case.
             73          (c) The commissioner or Appeals Board may base its decision on:
             74          (i) the evidence previously submitted in the case; or
             75          (ii) on written argument or written supplemental evidence requested by the
             76      commissioner or Appeals Board.
             77          (d) The commissioner or Appeals Board may permit the parties to:
             78          (i) file briefs or other papers; or
             79          (ii) conduct oral argument.
             80          (e) The commissioner or Appeals Board shall promptly notify the parties to any
             81      proceedings before the commissioner or Appeals Board of its decision, including its findings
             82      and conclusions.
             83          (5) (a) Each decision of a member of the Appeals Board shall represent the member's
             84      independent judgment.
             85          (b) A member of the Appeals Board may not participate in any case in which the


             86      member is an interested party.
             87          (c) If a member of the Appeals Board may not participate in a case because the member
             88      is an interested party, the two members of the Appeals Board that may hear the case shall
             89      assign an individual to participate as a member of the board in that case if the individual:
             90          (i) is not an interested party in the case;
             91          (ii) was not previously assigned to:
             92          (A) preside over any proceeding related to the case; or
             93          (B) take any administrative action related to the case; and
             94          (iii) is representative of the following group that was represented by the member that
             95      may not hear the case under Subsection (5)(b):
             96          (A) employers;
             97          (B) employees; or
             98          (C) the public.
             99          (d) The two members of the Appeals Board may appoint an individual to participate as
             100      a member of the Appeals Board in a case if:
             101          (i) there is a vacancy on the board at the time the Appeals Board hears the review of
             102      the case;
             103          (ii) the individual appointed meets the conditions described in Subsections (5)(c)(i) and
             104      (ii); and
             105          (iii) the individual appointed is representative of the following group that was
             106      represented by the member for which there is a vacancy:
             107          (A) employers;
             108          (B) employees; or
             109          (C) the public.
             110          (6) If an order is appealed to the court of appeals after the party appealing the order has
             111      exhausted all administrative appeals, the court of appeals has jurisdiction to:
             112          (a) review, reverse, remand, or annul any order of the commissioner or Appeals Board;
             113      or


             114          (b) suspend or delay the operation or execution of the order of the commissioner or
             115      Appeals Board being appealed.
             116          Section 2. Section 34A-2-212 is amended to read:
             117           34A-2-212. Docketing awards in district court -- Enforcing judgment.
             118          (1) (a) [An] Except as provided in Subsection (3), an abstract of [any] a final order of
             119      the commission providing an award may be filed under this chapter or Chapter 3, Utah
             120      Occupational Disease Act, in the office of the clerk of the district court of any county in the
             121      state when all administrative and appellate remedies are exhausted.
             122          (b) The abstract shall be docketed in the judgment docket of the district court where the
             123      abstract is filed. The time of the receipt of the abstract shall be noted on the abstract by the
             124      clerk of the district court and entered in the docket.
             125          (c) When filed and docketed under Subsections (1)(a) and (b), the order shall constitute
             126      a lien from the time of the docketing upon the real property of the employer situated in the
             127      county, for a period of eight years from the date of the order unless the award provided in the
             128      final order is satisfied during the eight-year period.
             129          (d) Execution may be issued on the lien within the same time and in the same manner
             130      and with the same effect as if [said] the award were a judgment of the district court.
             131          (2) (a) If the employer was uninsured at the time of the injury, the county attorney for
             132      the county in which the applicant or the employer resides, depending on the district in which
             133      the final order is docketed, shall enforce the judgment when requested by the commission or
             134      division on behalf of the commission.
             135          (b) In an action to enforce an order docketed under Subsection (1), reasonable
             136      [attorney's] attorney fees and court costs shall be allowed in addition to the award.
             137          (3) Unless stayed pursuant to Section 63G-4-405 , or set aside by the court of appeals, a
             138      preliminary or final decision of the commissioner or Appeals Board awarding permanent total
             139      disability compensation under Section 34A-2-413 is enforceable by abstract filed in the office
             140      of the clerk of the district court of any county in the state.
             141          Section 3. Section 34A-2-801 is amended to read:


             142           34A-2-801. Initiating adjudicative proceedings -- Procedure for review of
             143      administrative action.
             144          (1) (a) To contest an action of the employee's employer or its insurance carrier
             145      concerning a compensable industrial accident or occupational disease alleged by the employee
             146      or a dependent any of the following shall file an application for hearing with the Division of
             147      Adjudication:
             148          (i) the employee;
             149          (ii) a representative of the employee, the qualifications of whom are defined in rule by
             150      the commission; or
             151          (iii) a dependent as described in Section 34A-2-403 .
             152          (b) To appeal the imposition of a penalty or other administrative act imposed by the
             153      division on the employer or its insurance carrier for failure to comply with this chapter or
             154      Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act, any of the following shall file an application for
             155      hearing with the Division of Adjudication:
             156          (i) the employer;
             157          (ii) the insurance carrier; or
             158          (iii) a representative of either the employer or the insurance carrier, the qualifications
             159      of whom are defined in rule by the commission.
             160          (c) A person providing goods or services described in Subsections 34A-2-407 (11) and
             161      34A-3-108 (12) may file an application for hearing in accordance with Section 34A-2-407 or
             162      34A-3-108 .
             163          (d) An attorney may file an application for hearing in accordance with Section
             164      34A-1-309 .
             165          (2) (a) Unless all parties agree to the assignment in writing, the Division of
             166      Adjudication may not assign the same administrative law judge to hear a claim under this
             167      section by an injured employee if the administrative law judge previously heard a claim by the
             168      same injured employee for a different injury or occupational disease.
             169          (b) Unless all parties agree to the appointment in writing, an administrative law judge


             170      may not appoint the same medical panel or individual panel member to evaluate a claim by an
             171      injured employee if the medical panel or individual panel member previously evaluated a claim
             172      by the same injured employee for a different injury or occupational disease.
             173          (3) Unless a party in interest appeals the decision of an administrative law judge in
             174      accordance with Subsection (4), the decision of an administrative law judge on an application
             175      for hearing filed under Subsection (1) is a final order of the commission 30 days after the day
             176      on which the decision is issued. An administrative law judge shall issue a decision by no later
             177      than 60 days from the day on which the hearing is held under this part unless:
             178          (a) the parties agree to a longer period of time; or
             179          (b) a decision within the 60-day period is impracticable.
             180          (4) (a) A party in interest may appeal the decision of an administrative law judge by
             181      filing a motion for review with the Division of Adjudication within 30 days of the date the
             182      decision is issued.
             183          (b) Unless a party in interest to the appeal requests under Subsection (4)(c) that the
             184      appeal be heard by the Appeals Board, the commissioner shall hear the review.
             185          (c) A party in interest may request that an appeal be heard by the Appeals Board by
             186      filing the request with the Division of Adjudication:
             187          (i) as part of the motion for review; or
             188          (ii) if requested by a party in interest who did not file a motion for review, within 20
             189      days of the day on which the motion for review is filed with the Division of Adjudication.
             190          (d) A case appealed to the Appeals Board shall be decided by the majority vote of the
             191      Appeals Board.
             192          (5) [All records on appeals shall be maintained by the Division of Adjudication. Those
             193      records shall include] The Division of Adjudication shall maintain a record on appeal,
             194      including an appeal docket showing the receipt and disposition of the appeals on review.
             195          (6) Upon appeal, the commissioner or Appeals Board shall make its decision in
             196      accordance with Section 34A-1-303 . The commissioner or Appeals Board shall issue a
             197      decision under this part by no later than 90 days from the day on which the motion for review is


             198      filed unless:
             199          (a) the parties agree to a longer period of time; or
             200          (b) a decision within the 90-day period is impracticable.
             201          (7) The commissioner or Appeals Board shall promptly notify the parties to a
             202      proceeding before it of its decision, including its findings and conclusions.
             203          (8) [The] (a) Subject to Subsection (8)(b), the decision of the commissioner or
             204      Appeals Board is final unless within 30 days after the date the decision is issued further appeal
             205      is initiated under the provisions of this section or Title 63G, Chapter 4, Administrative
             206      Procedures Act.
             207          (b) In the case of an award of permanent total disability benefits under Section
             208      34A-2-413 , the decision of the commissioner or Appeals Board is a final order of the
             209      commission unless set aside by the court of appeals.
             210          (9) (a) Within 30 days after the day on which the decision of the commissioner or
             211      Appeals Board is issued, an aggrieved party may secure judicial review by commencing an
             212      action in the court of appeals against the commissioner or Appeals Board for the review of the
             213      decision of the commissioner or Appeals Board.
             214          (b) In an action filed under Subsection (9)(a):
             215          (i) any other party to the proceeding before the commissioner or Appeals Board shall
             216      be made a party; and
             217          (ii) the commission shall be made a party.
             218          (c) A party claiming to be aggrieved may seek judicial review only if the party exhausts
             219      the party's remedies before the commission as provided by this section.
             220          (d) At the request of the court of appeals, the commission shall certify and file with the
             221      court all documents and papers and a transcript of all testimony taken in the matter together
             222      with the decision of the commissioner or Appeals Board.
             223          (10) (a) The commission shall make rules, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3,
             224      Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, to facilitate timely completion of administrative actions
             225      under this part.


             226          (b) The commission shall monitor the time from filing of an application for a hearing
             227      to issuance of a final order of the commission for cases brought under this part.
             228          (c) The commission shall annually report to the Business and Labor Interim
             229      Committee:
             230          (i) the number of cases for which an application for hearing is filed under this part in
             231      the previous calendar year;
             232          (ii) the number of cases described in Subsection (10)(c)(i) for which the decision of the
             233      administrative law judge was not issued within the 60-day period required by Subsection (3);
             234          (iii) the number of cases described in Subsection (10)(c)(i) that are appealed to the
             235      commissioner or Appeals Board for which the decision of the commissioner or Appeals Board
             236      was not issued within the 90-day period required by Subsection (6);
             237          (iv) the number of cases described in Subsection (10)(c)(i) for which a final order of
             238      the commission is issued within 18 months of the day on which the application for hearing is
             239      filed;
             240          (v) the number of cases for which a final order of the commission is not issued within
             241      18 months of the day on which the application for a hearing is filed; and
             242          (vi) the reasons the cases described in Subsection (10)(c)(v) were not resolved within
             243      18 months of the day on which the application for a hearing is filed.


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