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HF 3873

2nd Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 04/18/2018 01:31pm

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A bill for an act
relating to workers' compensation; adopting recommendations of the Workers'
Compensation Advisory Council; modifying quorum requirements for the Workers'
Compensation Court of Appeals; increasing salaries of workers' compensation
judges; modifying use of reports filed; coordinating Office of Administrative
Hearings and Department of Labor and Industry interim filing requirements;
appropriating money;amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 175A.05;
176.231, subdivision 9; Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 15A.083,
subdivision 7; Laws 2017, chapter 94, article 1, section 6; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 176.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2017 Supplement, section 15A.083, subdivision 7, is
amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals and compensation judges.

Salaries of judges of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals are 98.52 105 percent
of the salary for district court workers' compensation judges of the Office of Administrative
Hearings
. The salary of the chief judge of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals is
98.52 107 percent of the salary for a chief district court judge workers' compensation judges
of the Office of Administrative Hearings
. Salaries of compensation judges are 98.52 percent
of the salary of district court judges.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective June 1, 2018.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 175A.05, is amended to read:


175A.05 QUORUM.

Subdivision 1.

Judges' quorum.

A majority of the judges of the Workers' Compensation
Court of Appeals shall constitute a quorum for the exercise of the powers conferred and the
duties imposed on the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals except that all appeals
shall be heard by no more than a panel of three of the five judges unless the case appealed
is determined to be of exceptional importance by the chief judge prior to assignment of the
case to a panel, or by a three-fifths vote of the judges prior to assignment of the case to a
panel or after the case has been considered by the panel but prior to the service and filing
of the decision.

Subd. 2.

Vacancy.

A vacancy shall not impair the ability of the remaining judges of the
Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals to exercise all the powers and perform all of the
duties of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals.

Subd. 3.

Retired judges.

Where the number of Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals
judges available to hear a case is insufficient to constitute a quorum, the chief judge of the
Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals may, with the retired judge's consent, assign a
judge who is retired from the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals or the Office of
Administrative Hearings to hear any case properly assigned to a judge of the Workers'
Compensation Court of Appeals. The retired judge assigned to the case may act on it with
the full powers of the judge of the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals. A retired
judge performing this service shall receive pay and expenses in the amount and manner
provided by law for judges serving on the court, less the amount of retirement pay the judge
is receiving under chapter 352 or 490.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 176.231, subdivision 9, is amended to read:


Subd. 9.

Uses which that may be made of reports.

(a) Reports filed with the
commissioner under this section may be used in hearings held under this chapter, and for
the purpose of state investigations and for statistics. These reports are available to the
Department of Revenue for use in enforcing Minnesota income tax and property tax refund
laws, and the information shall be protected as provided in chapter 270B.

(b) The division or Office of Administrative Hearings or Workers' Compensation Court
of Appeals may permit the examination of its file by the employer, insurer, employee, or
dependent of a deceased employee or any person who furnishes written signed authorization
to do so from the employer, insurer, employee, or dependent of a deceased employee.
Reports filed under this section and other information the commissioner has regarding
injuries or deaths shall be made available to the Workers' Compensation Reinsurance
Association for use by the association in carrying out its responsibilities under chapter 79.

(c) The division may provide the worker identification number assigned under section
176.275, subdivision 1, without a written authorization required under paragraph (b) to an:

(1) attorney who represents one of the persons described in paragraph (b);

(2) attorney who represents an intervenor or potential intervenor under section 176.361;

(3) intervenor; or

(4) employee's assigned qualified rehabilitation consultant under section 176.102.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

Sec. 4.

[176.2751] COORDINATION OF THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE
HEARINGS' CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND THE WORKERS'
COMPENSATION IMAGING SYSTEM.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

(a) For purposes of this section, the definitions in this
subdivision apply unless otherwise specified.

(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of labor and industry.

(c) "Department" means the Department of Labor and Industry.

(d) "Document" includes all data, whether in electronic or paper format, that is filed
with or issued by the office or department related to a claim-specific dispute resolution
proceeding under this section.

(e) "Office" means the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Subd. 2.

Applicability.

This section governs coordination of the office's case management
system and the workers' compensation imaging system pending completion of the workers'
compensation modernization program. This section prevails over any conflicting provision
in this chapter, Laws 1998, chapter 366, or corresponding rules.

Subd. 3.

Documents that must be filed with the office.

Except as provided in
subdivision 4 and section 176.421, all documents that require action by the office under
this chapter must be filed, electronically or in paper format, with the office as required by
the chief administrative law judge. Filing a document that initiates or is filed in preparation
for a proceeding at the office satisfies any requirement under this chapter that the document
must be filed with the commissioner.

Subd. 4.

Documents that must be filed with the commissioner.

(a) The following
documents must be filed directly with the commissioner in the format and manner prescribed
by the commissioner:

(1) all requests for an administrative conference under section 176.106, regardless of
the amount in dispute;

(2) a motion to intervene in an administrative conference that is pending at the department;

(3) any other document related to an administrative conference that is pending at the
department;

(4) an objection to a penalty assessed by the commissioner or department;

(5) requests for medical and rehabilitation dispute certification under section 176.081,
subdivision 1, paragraph (c), including related documents; and

(6) except as provided in this subdivision or subdivision 3, any other document required
to be filed with the commissioner.

(b) The filing requirement in paragraph (a), clause (1), makes no changes to the
jurisdictional provisions in section 176.106. A claim petition that contains only medical or
rehabilitation issues, unless primary liability is disputed, is considered to be a request for
an administrative conference and must be filed with the commissioner.

(c) The commissioner must refer a timely, unresolved objection to a penalty under
paragraph (a), clause (4), to the office within 60 calendar days.

Subd. 5.

Form revision.

The commissioner must revise dispute resolution forms, in
consultation with the chief administrative law judge, to reflect the filing requirements in
this section.

Subd. 6.

Data privacy.

(a) All documents filed with or issued by the department or
office under this chapter are private data on individuals and nonpublic data pursuant to
chapter 13, except that the documents are available to the following:

(1) the office;

(2) the department;

(3) the employer;

(4) the insurer;

(5) the employee;

(6) the dependent of a deceased employee;

(7) an intervenor in the dispute;

(8) the attorney to a party in the dispute;

(9) a person who furnishes written authorization from the employer, insurer, employee,
or dependent of a deceased employee; and

(10) a person, agency, or other entity allowed access to the documents under this chapter
or other law.

(b) The office and department may post notice of scheduled proceedings on the agencies'
Web sites and at their principal places of business in any manner that protects the employee's
identifying information.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment, except
subdivisions 3 and 4 are effective June 1, 2018.

Sec. 5.

Laws 2017, chapter 94, article 1, section 6, is amended to read:


Sec. 6. WORKERS' COMPENSATION COURT
OF APPEALS

$
1,913,000
$
1,913,000
1,946,000

This appropriation is from the workers'
compensation fund.

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