Would you sign my copy of Ogilvie?
Would you sign my copy of Ogilvie?

As I mentioned a few days ago, I was recently at the State Bar Convention in San Diego.  While at the Steve Jimenez Memorial Special Recognition Awards Ceremony, I bumped into one of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board commissioners.1

It was one of those days where I’m kicking myself for not lugging around my copy of Ogilvie II.2

I got to tell this commissioner, “I’m a big fan of your work.”3

  1. You’ve got a one in nine chance of guessing which one.  ;)  []
  2. Photo courtesy of USAFA87 []
  3. Yes, yes, I already know I’m a great big nerd. []

The Board is back!
The Board is back!

Need a FREE sample Ogilvie analysis brief complete with citations?

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board is back with their en banc decisions on Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman after reconsideration1  Download the Ogilvie/Almaraz/Guzman decisions all in one place:

Each of these four is about 50 pages.  Read them carefully, there will be a test later.

  1. Photo courtesy of arturodonate []

WCAB: Throwing babies out with the bathwater since 1965
The WCAB: Throwing babies out with the bathwater since 1965

For context, its best to see the prior post about the WCAB’s Weiner v. Ralph’s (en banc) decision.  There’s even a link to the Weiner v. Ralphs (en banc) decision for download – just so you can play along at home.

The question in the title of the post is really a question about the WCAB’s rationale – not their end legal justification behind Weiner.  I believe the Weiner case hints that the WCAB is going to go the other way and uphold their rulings in Almaraz/Guzman and Ogilvie.

However, I think the WCAB’s rationale for ending vocational rehabilitation was because of the potential for enormous retroactive vocational rehabilitation maintenance allowance awards at the temporary total disability rate outside the cap (VRTD).12

  1. Photo courtesy of Stephane Raymond []
  2. You see, I’m suggesting that the bathwater is VRTD and the baby itself is vocational rehabilitation.  Kinda kills the metaphor, eh? []

Weiner v. Ralphs spells the end of rehab
Weiner v. Ralphs spells the end of rehab

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board recently solicited amicus briefs regarding the Weiner v. Ralphs case.  After review of the amicus briefs on the topic of the repeal of Labor Code Section 139.5 and vocational rehabilitation, the WCAB has just issued their en banc opinion.1

Download a copy of Weiner v. Ralphs (en banc) right here:

Obviously, you’ll need to read and interpret Weiner v. Ralph’s for yourself.  Here’s the Board’s own summary:

  1. The repeal of section 139.5 terminated any rights to vocational rehabilitation benefits or services pursuant to orders or awards that were not final before January 1, 2009
  2. A saving clause was not adopted to protect vocational rehabilitation rights in cases still pending on or after January 1, 2009
  3. The vocational rehabilitation statutes that were repealed in 2003 do not continue to function as “ghost statutes” on or after January 1, 2009
  4. Effective January 1, 2009, the WCAB lost jurisdiction over non-vested and inchoate vocational rehabilitation claims, but the WCAB continues to have jurisdiction under sections 5502(b)(3) and 5803 to enforce or terminate vested rights; and
  5. Subject matter jurisdiction over non-vested and inchoate vocational rehabilitation claims cannot be conferred by waiver, estoppel, stipulation, or consent.

What does Weiner v. Ralph’s mean to you?

  1. Vocational rehabilitation is gone unless there is a “vested” right by way order that became final prior to 1/1/2009.
  2. If you already have a final order for vocational rehabilitation, the WCAB can still hear a dispute.
  1. Photo courtesy of larryfishkorn []

Fresno Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
Fresno Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
  • Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board – Fresno District Office (FRE)
  • 2550 Mariposa Street
    Fresno, CA 93721
  • Main:  (559) 445-5051
  • DEU:  (559) 445-6427
  • Information & Assistance:  (559) 445-5355

I have to be at the Fresno WCAB this afternoon. 1  Stop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

  1. Photo thanks to Google and their StreetView []