The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board plans to reorganize and renumber its Rules of Practice and Procedure (Rules) which are found in the California Code of Regulations, title 8, commencing with section 10300.
The organizational structure initially adopted in 1966 no longer accommodates the number and complexity of rules adopted in the modern era. As a result of several comprehensive reforms of the workers’ compensation system since 1966, the Rules are now 50 pages longer than they were in 1966 and cover multiple new procedures. For example, the Rules now include procedures for issuing sanctions, consolidation of cases, and appealing determinations of the Administrative Director. Because the existing organization does not have a logical or natural place for many of these new rules, it is often difficult to locate a particular rule. An additional consequence of the outdated organization of the rules is unnecessary duplication of rules in different articles and multiple rules covering the same or similar subjects.
With this reorganization, the WCAB plans to accomplish the following:
Organize articles to reflect the order of events in a case.
Eliminate duplicative rules.
Break up complex rules.
Simplify and modernize language of rules for clarity.
Create some room between rules so that additional rules can be added in the future without need for decimals.
In general, the WCAB does not plan to change the substance of the vast majority of rules with this reorganization. However, it will propose substantive changes where a rule does not reflect current practice or when it believes substantive changes are necessary.
Prior to engaging in formal rulemaking under Labor Code sections 5307 and 5307.4, and starting with this notice, the WCAB will periodically post in a forum on its website a group of articles and rules for review and comment. You may go to the forum page to offer your comments.
In the next few months, we will post the remainder of the proposed reorganized rules in two additional forums. After we have completed these forums and we have reviewed and considered the comments received, we will issue an Initial Statement of Reasons and a Notice of Public Hearing together with the complete package of reorganized and revised rules.