Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only

 Legal Resources

Welcome to the

Workers' Compensation Board

The mission of the Workers' Compensation Board is to provide timely and impartial resolution of disputes arising under the Workers' Compensation Law and the Oregon Safe Employment Act. The most significant goal of the Board is to be a model forum to provide substantial justice to all parties that come before it. The Oregon Legislature created the Board as an independent agency in 1965, and in 1987, it continued the Board as an independent agency within the Department of Insurance & Finance (now the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services).

The Workers' Compensation Board Chair oversees the Hearings Division, whose Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) conduct contested case hearings and provide alternative dispute resolution for workers' compensation matters as well as for Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) citations and orders. Hearings Division offices are located in Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Medford.

The Board is the appellate body that reviews ALJ workers' compensation orders on appeal, exercises own-motion jurisdiction, and reviews Claim Disposition Agreements (Compromise and Release of workers' benefits). In addition, the Board 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. The Board is assisted by staff attorneys who do legal research and assist with the drafting of orders. The Board also furnishes policy advice on workers' compensation issues to the director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).

The Board consists of five full-time members, two of whom are selected from among persons with backgrounds and understanding of the concerns of employers, and two of whom are selected from among persons with backgrounds and understanding of the concerns of employees. One member represents the interests of the public and serves as the chair. All five Board members are required, however, to impartially apply the law and, once appointed, may not represent any special interest. In making case decisions, the Board 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 participating is necessary for a decision. With limited exceptions, Board orders may be appealed by the parties to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The members are appointed to four-year terms by the governor subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate. Presently the Board consists of members: Abigail Herman, Frank Biehl, Margaret Weddell, Greig Lowell, and Vera Langer. Please contact us if you have any questions.

                                                                                  Abigail L. Herman