Current as of: 2010
(a) The Alaska Workers' Compensation Board consists of a southern panel of three members sitting for the first judicial district, two northern panels of three members sitting for the second and fourth judicial districts, five southcentral panels of three members each sitting for the third judicial district, and one panel of three members that may sit in any judicial district. Each panel must include the commissioner of labor and workforce development or a hearing officer designated to represent the commissioner, a representative of industry, and a representative of labor. The latter two members of each panel shall be appointed by the governor and are subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session. The board shall by regulation provide procedures to avoid conflicts and the appearance of impropriety in hearings.
(b) The commissioner shall act as chair and executive officer of the board and chair of each panel. The commissioner may designate a representative to act for the commissioner as chair and executive officer of the board. The commissioner may designate hearing officers to serve as chairs of panels for hearing claims.
(c) The governor shall appoint the members of the panels. Each member, except the commissioner of labor and workforce development, serves a term of three years. The term of a management member and the term of a labor member of each panel may not expire in the same year. The management and labor members are entitled to compensation in the amount of $50 a day for each day or portion of a day spent in actual meeting or on authorized official business incidental to their duties and to all other transportation and per diem as provided by law.
(d) [Repealed, Sec. 9 ch 77 SLA 1979].
(e) A member of one panel may serve on another panel when the commissioner considers it necessary for the prompt administration of this chapter. Transfers shall be allowed only if a labor or management representative replaces a counterpart on the other panel.
(f) Two members of a panel constitute a quorum for hearing claims and the action taken by a quorum of a panel is considered the action of the full board.
(g) A claim may be heard by only one panel.
(h) The department shall adopt rules for all panels, and procedures for the periodic selection, retention, and removal of both rehabilitation specialists and physicians under Alaska Stat. § 23.30.041 and 23.30.095, and shall adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The department may by regulation provide for procedural, discovery, or stipulated matters to be heard and decided by the commissioner or a hearing officer designated to represent the commissioner rather than a panel. If a procedural, discovery, or stipulated matter is heard and decided by the commissioner or a hearing officer designated to represent the commissioner, the action taken is considered the action of the full board on that aspect of the claim. Process and procedure under this chapter shall be as summary and simple as possible. The department, the board or a member of it may for the purposes of this chapter subpoena witnesses, administer or cause to be administered oaths, and may examine or cause to have examined the parts of the books and records of the parties to a proceeding that relate to questions in dispute. The superior court, on application of the department, the board or any members of it, shall enforce the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production and examination of books, papers, and records.
(i) The department may adopt regulations concerning the medical care provided for in this chapter. In addition to the reports required of physicians under Alaska Stat. § 23.30.095 (a) - (d), the board may direct a physician or hospital rendering medical treatment or service under this chapter to furnish to the board periodic reports of treatment or services on forms procured from the board.
(j) The board may also arrange to have hearings held by the commission, officer, or tribunal having authority to hear cases arising under the workers' compensation law of any other state, of the District of Columbia, or of any territory of the United States. The testimony and proceedings at the hearing shall be reported to the board and are a part of the record in the case. Evidence taken at the hearing is subject to rebuttal upon final hearing before the board.
(k) The board shall notify the contracting agency of the state or of a political subdivision of the state when it revokes the self-insurance certificate of an employer holding a contract with the state or a political subdivision of the state.
(l) Regulations adopted by the department under (h) and (i) of this section become effective only after approved by a majority of the full board.
(m) The board may by regulation delegate authority to the director to assist the board in administering and enforcing this chapter.
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