HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1390

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

H.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

S.D. 1

 

Proposed

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Section 386-86, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"386-86 Proceedings upon claim; hearings. (a) If a claim for compensation is made, the director shall [make such] further [investigation as deemed necessary] investigate the facts surrounding the claim and render a decision in writing within sixty days after the conclusion of the hearing awarding or denying compensation, stating the findings of fact and conclusions of law. The director may extend the due date for decisions for good cause provided all parties agree. The decision shall be filed with the record of the proceedings and a copy of the decision shall be sent immediately to each party.

(b) When the employer denies compensability or indicates compensability is not accepted, the employer, within thirty calendar days of the employer's denial of, or indication to not accept, compensability, which includes the period of time that the employer is conducting any internal investigation, shall submit a written report to the director and the claimant that describes the employer's internal investigation and supporting details that substantiate the employer's denial of, or indication to not accept, compensability. The due date for the employer's written report shall not be extended.

[(b)] (c) The hearing shall be informal and shall afford the parties a full and fair opportunity to present the facts and evidence to be considered. Hearings under this section shall not be subject to chapter 91. No stenographic or tape recording shall be allowed.

[(c)] (d) The order of presentation shall not alter the burden of proof, including the burden of producing evidence and the burden of persuasion. The party or parties who bear these burdens shall be determined by law consistent with the purposes of this section.

[(d)] (e) Should the injured employee or injured employee's representative, or the employer or employer's representative fail to appear at the hearing, the director may issue a decision based on the information on file. The decision shall be final unless appealed pursuant to section 386-87. In all other circumstances, a decision shall not be rendered by the director without a hearing, which may not be waived by the parties.

[(e)] (f) For the purpose of obtaining any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, the director, upon application and for good cause shown, may order the taking of relevant testimony by deposition, upon oral examination, or written interrogatories, or by other means of discovery in the manner and effect prescribed by the Hawaii rules of civil procedure; provided that when the claimant's deposition is taken, the employer shall pay for the cost to the claimant of attending the deposition, any costs associated with having the deposition transcribed and copied, and any and all reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred by the claimant with respect to the deposition.

[(f)] (g) Subpoenas requiring the attendance of witnesses at a hearing before a hearings officer or for the taking of a deposition or the production of documentary evidence from any place within the State at any designated place of hearing may be issued by the director or a duly authorized representative. The employer shall serve a claimant with a copy of a medical record subpoena unless the employer has previously obtained the claimant's authorization to examine the claimant's medical records. Should the claimant subpoena medical records, the employer shall be served a copy. The party subpoenaing the records shall provide these records within fifteen calendar days of their receipt to the employer, claimant, and the special compensation fund if a joinder has been filed, or their representatives. These records shall be submitted by the party requesting the subpoena to the director within seven calendar days of the date of the notice of hearing or upon request by the director. A party who desires to enforce the director's subpoena shall seek enforcement from a court of competent jurisdiction."

SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 



 

Report Title:

Proceedings; Investigation; Decision Due Date; Worker Claim

 

Description:

Requires an employer who denies compensability, or indicates compensability is not accepted, to submit a written report to the director and claimant within thirty days of its denial of, or indication not to accept, compensability that substantiates its denial of compensability; prohibits the due date for the employer's written report to be extended. (SD1)

 

 

 

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