AFL-CIO Calls for the Reduction of Compensation Board Hearings
By Neal Tepel August 4, 2010
The AFL-CIO is seeking to negotiate a compromise with the Workers Compensation Board that decreases the number of unnecessary hearings while complying with the current Workers Compensation Law. In response to the AFL-CIO call for the reduction of formal hearings at the Workers Compensation Board, John Sciortino, President of the New York Injured Workers Bar Association stated that We agree with the AFL-CIO that neither the Managed Adjudication Path (MAP) nor the new Streamlined Conciliation Process are fair to injured workers.
An injured worker should have an absolute right to a formal hearing upon request. However, we believe there is room to reduce many of the silly issues contributing to unnecessary hearings and look forward to working with the AFL-CIO to identify all such issues.
Troy Rosasco, a member of the New York Injured Workers Bar Association said that AFL-CIO is clearly on target in reducing unneeded hearings. The New York Workers Compensation system has long been criticized for having formal hearings on relatively minor issues having little or no impact on injured workers. To the extent we can prevent our clients from having to take an unpaid day off from work to appear at hearings for minor issues like the failure of an insurance company to file a proper form or to verify documents, I think all claimant attorneys will support such reforms said Rosasco.
There is general agreement that many hearings could be reduced if the Board simply complied with longstanding statutory provisions providing for conciliation meetings and administrative determinations.