The WCAB just issued its second En Banc decision modifying the rules that apply to litigation management.
WCAB Rule 10940(b) states in relevant part: “No documents sent directly to the Appeals Board by fax or e-mail will be accepted for filing, unless otherwise ordered by the Appeals Board.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, former § 10845(c), now § 10940(b) (eff. Jan. 1, 2020), emphasis added.) To the extent that WCAB Rule 10940(b) prohibits sending documents directly to the Appeals Board by email, we order that documents may be emailed directly to the Appeals Board. Documents that may be emailed include, but are not limited to, correspondence relating to a petition for reconsideration that has been granted for further study by the Appeals Board.
Documents sent by email should include the information required for pleadings by WCAB Rule 10520 and an email address for the sending party. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, former § 10498, now § 10520 (eff. Jan. 1, 2020).) Documents sent by email should otherwise comply with the WCAB’s Rules. Documents may be sent by email to WCABEmergencyBox@dir.ca.gov and will be responded to per the Appeals Board’s normal operating procedures.
Petitions for reconsideration, removal, or disqualification and answers should still be filed in EAMS or with the district office having venue pursuant to WCAB Rule 10940(a). (See Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, former § 10840(a), now § 10940(a) (eff. Jan. 1, 2020).)
Administrative Director (AD) Rule 10205.7(c) provides that “No document shall be sent by electronic mail or by fax directly to the district office or the appeals board. If a document is sent by electronic mail or fax directly to the district office, it shall not be accepted for filing or deemed filed, shall not be acknowledged, and may be discarded unless otherwise ordered by the workers’ compensation administrative law judge or the appeals board“. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 10205.7(c), emphasis added.)
Although ordinarily prohibited by the AD’s Rules, the Appeals Board hereby orders that specific documents may be by sent by email directly to the district offices. The district offices may accept by email solely documents subject to a statutory time limit where the filing party could not otherwise e-file, JET file or file the document by mail. Information regarding email addresses for filing documents by email with the district offices is available on the DWC’s webpage: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/dir2.htm.
All parties are reminded that ex parte communications are prohibited per WCAB Rule 10410 and any document sent to the district offices or the Appeals Board by email or any other method must also be served on all parties to the matter. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, former § 10324, now § 10410 (eff. Jan. 1, 2020).)
These orders will remain in effect until further notice.