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AIM supports review of workers' compensation Administrative Law Judges

March 22, 2022 - Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) testified today before the Senate Small Business and Industry Committee in favor of a bill dealing with workers' compensation administrative law judges.

Senate Bill 784, a bill filed by Senator Karla Eslinger that would change the terms of office, performance reviews, and salaries of administrative law judges that hear workers' compensation cases. Under this bill, all administrative law judges (ALJs) would be divided into three groups as follows:

· Tier 1 ALJs - The 13 longest-tenured judges, in terms of months, shall serve a 2-year term;

· Tier 2 ALJs - The next 13 longest-tenured judges shall serve a 4-year term; and

· Tier 3 ALJs - The remaining judges shall serve a 4-year term.

All ALJs would serve a 4-year term after the initial term, unless otherwise removed as provided in the bill.

The bill would also allow any ALJ to be removed from office prior to the end of his or her term by the director of the Division of Workers' Compensation for gross inefficiency, incapacity, neglect of duties, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office; incompetence; or for any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.

The bill would provide more certainty that workers' comp cases would be handled more effectively and efficiently.

Along with Associated Industries of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations supported the bill. The Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers opposed the bill.

The Small Business and Industry Committee took no action during the hearing. We will update you on any future action.



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