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The members advise the director on matters relating to medical care for workers. In 1999, Senate Bill 222 revised the composition and duties of this statutory committee. The statute allows the director to appoint medical providers that most represent the health care services provided to injured workers, which may include representatives of insurers, employers, and managed care organizations.
In recognition of the success of the governor’s labor-management committee in crafting the 1990 reforms, the Legislature created the Management-Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC). The committee has 10 representatives, five representing management interests and five representing labor interests. The committee advises the department on workers’ compensation matters such as administrative rules and proposed legislation. Over time, the Legislature has mandated that the committee review certain issues such as the adequacy of the Workers’ Benefit Fund balance and permanent partial disability awards. The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) has recognized Oregon’s workers’ compensation system as a model that could provide lessons for other states. The 2008 study “Lessons from the Oregon Workers’ Compensation System” provided four key lessons. One of these lessons is the cooperation between management and labor that is embodied in the Management-Labor Advisory Committee.
WCRI listed six factors in the design and operation of MLAC that are associated with its effectiveness in bringing about orderly and lasting change in the Oregon system:
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