The Industrial Commission Expands its Telephone Hearing Docket to Include All Issues

Mark A. Shaw, Melissa A. Ebel and C. Awele Nwajei

phone on black background    On June 3, 2020, the Commissioners of the Ohio Industrial Commission held a special meeting and unanimously approved a motion to schedule telephonic hearings on all issues over which the Industrial Commission has jurisdiction.  In compliance with the State of Emergency as declared by Governor Mike DeWine, the Industrial Commission first limited telephone hearings to priority issues involving claim allowance and wage replacement.  On April 15, 2020, the Industrial Commission expanded the list of permissible issues for hearing to include permanent partial disability compensation.  

   At the beginning of the meeting, Industrial Commission Chairman Jim Hughes noted the Industrial Commission has received numerous letters from key stakeholders in support of expanding the Industrial Commission’s current telephonic hearing docket to include all issues.  

   Tom Connor, director of adjudication, also explained the Industrial Commission currently is averaging six hours of hearings a day with six permanent partial disability compensation hearings an hour and two allowance and/or wage replacement hearings an hour.  Mr. Connor stated approximately half of the Industrial Commission’s volume of claims to be set for hearing involve non-priority issues such as treatment.  He also noted the Industrial Commission has capacity to schedule additional issues on its telephonic docket.  

   Accordingly, effective immediately, the Industrial Commission will continue to manually docket priority issues but will permit the automatic docketing system to schedule hearings on all other issues in any docketing vacancy.  All hearings will still be by telephone only.  The Industrial Commission did not address when in-person hearings may begin.  

  Should you have any questions about how these changes will impact your business please contact Mr. Shaw, Ms. Ebel or  Ms. Nwajei.


   Disclaimer: This alert has been prepared by Eastman & Smith Ltd. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney/client relationship.