Industrial Commission In-Person Hearings

July 2, 2021

The following language can be used by employers to document the waiver of the right to attend a hearing in-person. That document must then be submitted to the claim file.

Waiver of Right to Appear In-Person

As the individual authorized to make decisions on behalf of the employer in matters before the Industrial Commission, I, ______________________________, waive the right to appear in-person for the Industrial Commission hearing on (date) ______________________ in claim number ____________________. I understand that the employer has the right to appear in-person and, with that knowledge, waive that right to appear in-person voluntarily and expressly authorize (non-attorney representative) ___________________________________ to appear remotely via Webex or telephone in any Industrial Commission hearing arising from subsequent appeals on the same issue(s).

 

Signature: ____________________________________

Date: ________________________________________


June 29, 2021

WAIVER GUIDANCE

The right to attend a hearing in person belongs to the parties, not the representatives. Therefore, the need to obtain and document in an order a waiver of that right will depend on the circumstances as discussed below:

If neither a party nor their/its representative appear at all, waiver is not an issue.

If a party is represented by an attorney, and that attorney appears in person, no waiver is necessary. If the attorney appears remotely, that attorney can verbally affirm that their client has waived the right to appear in person if the party is not present to confirm the waiver. That waiver must then be documented in the order.

If a party is represented by a non-attorney and that non-attorney appears in person and the party does not appear, no waiver is required. If the party appears remotely, that party must waive the right to appear in person and that waiver must be documented in the order. If a non-attorney representative appears remotely and the party is not present, there must be some written waiver of the right to appear in person contained in the claim file. That document must then be referenced in the order.


June 14, 2021

During the pandemic the Ohio Industrial Commission was able to successfully conduct hearings telephonically and through the use of web-based technology. This was a collaborative team effort and much credit goes to the hearing officers and practitioners who adapted to the rapidly changing environment and challenges.

The Industrial Commission was able to utilize these technologies and conduct remote hearings through enabling legislation that permitted boards, commissions, and agencies to conduct business and public hearings remotely. On June 30, 2021, the legislation that enabled the IC to conduct hearings remotely is expiring. Language was included in the omnibus budget bill that would have extended the ability to continue remote hearings through December 31, 2021. However, that language was removed, necessitating the return of in-person hearings. Therefore, in person hearings are scheduled to resume on July 6, 2021. In furtherance of this transition, it has been decided to not schedule hearings on Thursday, July 1, 2021 and Friday, July 2, 2021.

Hearing notices informing participants of the change in venue are being prepared and will start being sent out later this week. THE NOTICES WILL PERMIT THE PARTIES AND REPRESENTATIVES TO APPEAR AND PARTICIPATE EITHER IN-PERSON OR VIA Webex. The IC will communicate additional information as decisions and plans are finalized.

As always, the Industrial Commission appreciates your hard work and ability to adjust to the continuous changes brought about by this pandemic.