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
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.