Bills would reform work comp ALJ terms and work review
March 31, 2022 - The House Judiciary Committee last night heard testimony from Associated Industries of Missouri president and CEO Ray McCarty, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and others supporting HB 2517 (Riley). The bill is similar to SB 784 that advanced from a Senate committee on Tuesday.
The bills seek to provide more thorough review of the work of workers' compensation Administrative Law Judges (ALJs). The bill would establish four year terms, but would not limit the number of terms that may be served by an ALJ. Read more about the accompanying Senate bill in our previous article HERE.
After Rep. Alex Riley presented the bill, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Rudy Veit, questioned Riley and made several constructive suggestions for changes that would increase oversight, while he expressed strong opposition to setting terms on ALJs for fear of being able to generate interest in the positions by competent work comp attorneys.
"We support providing the Department of Labor and the ALJ review committee with more oversight and we want to strengthen accountability of the administrative law judges," said McCarty, "but Rep. Veit made some good suggestions worth considering as this legislation moves forward and we are interested in considering his suggestions."
Passage of either bill this year does not appear likely and we look forward to continuing our conversations with all parties involved in improving the process.