DWC has posted an online discussion forum on proposals for new and revised regulations implementing provisions of last year's Senate Bill 228 regarding alternative dispute resolution programs known as "carve-outs."
The DWC/WCAB forums are located at http://www.dir.ca.gov/wcjudicial.htm. Click on "current forums" at the top to see this one. Interested members of the public are encouraged to submit their comments, which will be accepted until Jan. 30, 2004.
Labor Code sections 3201.5 and 3201.7 allow qualified employers and unions to set up alternative dispute resolution programs for workers' compensation claims. Section 3201.5 applies to the construction industry and was unchanged by SB 228. Section 3201.7 of the Labor Code had applied only to businesses in the timber and aerospace industries. It now applies to any qualified company that has a collective bargaining agreement with a bona fide union.
Please feel free to review and comment on the preliminary regulatory proposals posted at the forum. Based on comments received, DWC may revise the proposals as necessary and then intends to submit them to the state Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for adoption on an emergency basis. If OAL approves their adoption as emergency regulations, formal rulemaking on permanent regulations will follow.