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Joy M. Dougherty, Presiding Administrative Law Judge (PALJ)
The Hearings Division ensures timely and impartial resolution of Oregon workers’ compensation and Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) disputes.
Dispute resolution can be accomplished in a number of methods. Administrative law judges (ALJs) conduct contested case hearings that result in the issuance of an Opinion and Order, consistent with statutory requirements. Additionally, ALJs provide motion decisions, review and/or approve settlements between the parties. ALJs also provide mediation services.
Hearings Division offices are located in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Medford, Bend, Coos Bay, Pendleton, and Ontario. Hearings are also held in Astoria, Klamath Falls, Newport, and Roseburg. Contact information for ALJs and their judicial assistants is available on this website.
The Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) provides timely and impartial resolution of disputes appealed from its Hearings Division. WCB also approves Claim Disposition Agreements, reviews disputes regarding the processing of “Own Motion” claims under ORS 656.278, and resolves disputes arising from third-party settlements/judgments.
WCB consists of five full-time 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 and serves as the chairperson. The governor appoints the members to four-year terms, subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate.
All five Workers' Compensation Board members must impartially apply the law. Once appointed, they may not represent any special interest. The members also consult with the chairperson regarding the hiring of ALJs, as well as participate in adopting/amending administrative rules. In making case decisions, the members may sit together “en banc,” which includes all five members, or in panels of two or three. A concurrence of a majority of the members participating is necessary for a decision whether sitting "en banc,” or as a panel.
Board orders are appealable to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
The Administrative Services Division (ASD) is the operational center of WCB. It provides support to the other two divisions to ensure that effective and efficient service is provided to the public. Services include docket, hearing notice production, interpreter services, litigation coding, and record retention. ASD also handles the facilities, risk management, contracts and billing, mail processing, statistics, payroll, and personnel on behalf of WCB.
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