Welcome to the Workers' Compensation Board
Our mission here at the Workers' Compensation Board is to provide timely and impartial resolution of disputes arising under Oregon Workers' Compensation Law and the Oregon Safe Employment Act
Who we are
The Oregon Legislature created the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) as an independent agency in 1965. In 1987, the Legislature continued WCB as an independent agency within the Department of Insurance and Finance (now the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services).
WCB includes the Hearings Division, in which administrative law judges (ALJs) conduct contested case hearings and provide alternative dispute resolution regarding workers’ compensation matters and Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) citations and orders. Hearings Division offices are located in Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Medford.
WCB also functions as an appellate body that reviews ALJs’ workers' compensation orders on appeal, exercises Own Motion jurisdiction, and reviews Claim Disposition Agreements (compromise and release of workers’ benefits). In addition, WCB conducts hearings/reviews of appeals from Oregon Department of Justice decisions regarding applications for compensation under the Crime Victim Assistance Program, and resolves disputes between workers and workers’ compensation carriers arising from workers’ civil actions against allegedly liable third parties. WCB employs staff attorneys who do legal research and help draft the orders on review issued by WCB (on appeals from the ALJs’ orders). WCB also furnishes policy advice on workers’ compensation issues to the director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).
WCB has five permanent board members. Two members have a background and understanding of the concerns of employers. Two members have a background and understanding of the concerns of employees. One member represents the interests of the public. State law requires all five members to apply the law impartially. Once appointed, they may not represent any special interest. The governor appoints the members to four-year terms, subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate. In making case decisions, the members may sit together or in panels. A decision of a panel is by a majority of the panel. When sitting “en banc,” the concurrence of a majority of the members' participation is necessary for a decision.
With limited exceptions, WCB’s orders may be appealed by the parties to the Oregon Court of Appeals.