Mediation is a means of resolving disputes in an informal and non-adversarial atmosphere. The issues that can be mediated are not restricted to medical or temporary total disability benefits.

The parties to a dispute use a neutral third party to facilitate discussion. The mediator assists the parties in identifying the issues in dispute and establishing common goals. The mediator has no decision-making authority or interest in the outcome of the dispute.  Mediation allows the parties to negotiate a resolution to their disputes and to avoid the expenses and uncertainty of litigating their disputes in court.  

Who are the mediators?

The mediators are employees of the Division of Workers Compensation who have received special training in the mediation process. These mediators meet or exceed the requirements established by Kansas law and the Kansas Supreme Court. Mediators receive training in conflict resolution techniques, neutrality, agreement writing, ethics, role playing, communication skills, case evaluation and the laws governing mediation.

How does mediation work?

Mediation is not mandatory or a prerequisite to a hearing but can be utilized at any point during the workers compensation process. Without full participation and good faith intentions by the parties, success through the mediation process is limited.

The mediation conference begins with the parties in a joint session. The parties are introduced and the rules of mediation are explained. Workers Compensation mediation conferences are conducted pursuant to the Dispute Resolution Act, K.S.A. 5-501, and amendments thereto.

To begin the mediation conference, the mediator gives one party the opportunity to speak without any interruptions. The other party is shown the same courtesy.

Upon completion of this initial phase, the parties, with the assistance of the mediator, will begin identifying issues and exploring all possible options to resolve their dispute. At times, the parties may be separated by the mediator or by the request of either party to discuss their respective case. This technique is known as caucusing. Although caucusing is not used in every mediation conference, it is available to all the parties. The purpose of caucusing is to gather or share additional information which the party may be reluctant to express in front of the other party, or perhaps to discuss possible resolution options. Mediation works only if the parties are willing to participate and discuss the issues in good faith.

What happens if no agreement is reached?

Mediation does not promise to resolve all disputes, but it does provide a forum for sincere and meaningful discussion on the issues. If no agreement is reached, only that fact is made part of the docket file. Thus, neither party is prejudiced in later hearings.

What happens if an agreement is reached?

If an agreement is reached, the mediator will put the agreement in writing. Thereafter, the agreement may be forwarded to an administrative law judge (ALJ) for approval. If so, upon approval by the ALJ, the agreement will have the same force and effect as an agreed order or award.

What does mediation cost?

The Division of Workers Compensation promotes and encourages mediation in workers compensation cases by offering professional mediation free of charge.

Professional mediators elsewhere charge an hourly fee that can be in excess of $100, depending on the complexity of the dispute.

With nothing to lose and much to gain, mediation through the Division of Workers Compensation is a cost-effective way of resolving disputes within the workers compensation system.

For additional information or to request or schedule a mediation conference, please contact the Public Resource Section: Mediation Unit at (785) 296-4000 (option 2) or (800) 332-0353 (option 2).

If a worker and employer have a disagreement about Workers Compensation benefits, the division's Judicial unit provides a forum for promptly resolving the issue.

The division has 10 Administrative Law Judges throughout the state whose primary function is resolving disputes in contested workers compensation claims by conducting prehearing conferences, encouraging settlements and conducting hearings to resolve issues the parties cannot resolve on their own.  If a hearing is held, an ALJ issues an order or award based on the facts and Kansas workers compensation law. For an initial, temporary, determination of benefits, preliminary hearings are set on a priority basis, and preliminary decisions are issued within five business days of the completion of the hearing, excluding weekends and holidays.   

Note: OSCAR registration is required for any records requests or filings in the Workers Compensation system.

To set a hearing before an administrative law judge, the worker or employer must file an application for hearing with the division. Special administrative law judges conduct settlement hearings for the division.  If the worker or employer wants to set a preliminary hearing, the worker or employer must follow the procedure for filing an application for preliminary hearing. If the worker or employer has a dispute concerning additional medical treatment after a final award granting future medical treatment has been issued, the party must follow the procedure for filing an application for post-award medical treatment.  If the worker or employer has a dispute concerning whether additional compensation is payable after a final award allowing review and modification has been issued, the party must follow the procedure for filing an application for review and modification. Parties that are represented by an attorney should contact their attorney to dicuss whether a hearing on their workers compensation claim is necessary. 

Disputes over Workers Compensation benefits can also be resolved by mediation. The division has certified mediators who will, free of charge, help an injured worker and employer reach an agreement on contested issues. You can learn more about mediation in the section above. 

Regional Administrative Law Judges Offices

Administrative Law Judge - Garden City

Pamela Fuller

Legal Assistant: Mary Richardson
mary.richardson@ks.gov

407 Campus Dr
Garden City, KS 67846-6124

  Administrative Law Judges - Topeka

Steven Roth

Legal Assistant: Marissa Wagenaar, 
marissa.wagenaar@ks.gov

401 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66603

David Bogdan

Legal Assistant: Sheryl Hesser
sheryl.hesser@ks.gov

401 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66603

Administrative Law Judges - Lenexa

Julie Sample
julie.sample@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Veronica Cooper
veronica.cooper@ks.gov

11900 W 87th St Pkwy, Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66215

Troy Larson
troy.larson@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Mindy Bradbury
mindy.bradbury@ks.gov

11900 W 87th St Pkwy, Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66215

Ken Hursh
ken.hursh@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Jane Hogan
jane.hogan@ks.gov

11900 W 87th St Pkwy, Suite 200
Lenexa, KS 66215

Administrative Law Judges - Wichita

Ali Marchant

Legal Assistant: Kathy Caire
kathy.caire@ks.gov

266 N Main St, Suite 100
Wichita, KS 67202-1514

Tom Klein

Legal Assistant: Terri Davis
terri.davis@ks.gov

266 N Main St, Suite 100
Wichita, KS 67202-1514

Gary Jones

Legal Assistant: Sandi Peck
sandi.peck@ks.gov

266 N Main St, Suite 100
Wichita, KS 67202-1514

Administrative Law Judge - Salina

Bruce Moore
bruce.moore@ks.gov

Legal Assistant: Parma Barnhill
parma.barnhill@ks.gov

901 Westchester Dr, Suite B
Salina, KS 67401-7418

The Board was established in 1993 to decide appeals of orders and awards from the workers compensation administrative law judges. Hoping to obtain more uniform decisions throughout the state, the Legislature created the Board to replace the state's district court judges in the appeal process. By statute the Appeals Board’s authority to review preliminary orders is limited to issues of compensability.

The Appeals Board reviews decisions of Administrative Law Judges on a de novo basis, based on the Kansas Workers Compensation Act, administrative regulations, and current caselaw. Review is on the record. All five Board members decide final orders, awards and modifications of final awards. Review of preliminary hearing orders are decided by a single Board member.

The Board has the authority to:

  • Grant or deny compensation
  • Increase or diminish any award of compensation
  • Remand any matter to the administrative law judge for further proceedings

Decisions from the Board are due within 30 days from the date arguments are presented.

For questions about the Appeals Board, please contact kdol.wcboard@ks.gov.

Current Board Members (effective January 1, 2021)

  • Rebecca Sanders (Chair)
  • John F. Carpinelli
  • Seth G. Valerius
  • William G. Belden
  • Chris A. Clements

Procedure

Filing Requirements: A request for review must be filed in OSCAR within 10 days (excluding weekends and holidays) from the effective date of the Administrative Law Judge's decision. Each party not represented by legal counsel who files by fax shall retain the original document in the party's possession or control during the pendency of the action and shall produce this document upon request by the division, administrative law judge, workers compensation board, or any party to the action. Upon failure to produce the document, the fax may be stricken, and the party may be subject to sanctions under K.S.A. 44-5,120(d)(20), and amendments thereto. The Appeals Board will send the parties a notice confirming the filing of the application for review and establishing the parties’ deadlines for the filing of briefs.  The Appeals Board limits its review to the evidence presented to the Administrative Law Judge, and will not receive additional evidence on review.

Note: An appellant is an applicant to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court, while an appellee is a responder in a case appealed to a higher court.

Appeal of Final Orders, Awards or Modifications of Awards: The appellant's brief is due 30 days from the date the application is filed and the appellee's brief is due 20 days from the date of the appellant's brief. The appellant may submit a reply brief within 10 days responding only to new issues raised in the appellee’s brief.  

At the time the briefing schedule is established and a hearing date scheduled, the case will be reviewed and a decision will be made on whether oral argument is necessary. If the Board finds oral argument is not necessary, the case will be placed on the summary docket for decision without oral argument, and the parties will be notified accordingly.  

Appeal of Post Award Medical and Preliminary Orders: The appellant's brief is due 10 days from the date the application is filed and appellee's brief is due 10 days later. The day following the last brief, the case is deemed submitted to the Board for decision. Again, the parties must provide five copies of each pleading filed. Appeals of post-award medical and preliminary orders are placed on the summary docket without oral argument.

Appeals to the Court of Appeals and Certification of Record: Any final order of the Board may be appealed to the Court of Appeals. Once the Board issues its order, the administrative file is returned to the Director. The Director's office is responsible for certifying the record for cases being appealed to the Court of Appeals. If a party intends to appeal a final order of the Board to the Court of Appeals they must request the Director certify the record.

Appeals Decisions are available on Westlaw. As a convenience to our customers, this page contains links to Appeals Board Decisions added to the Workers Compensation website up to the last three months.

A number sign (or pound, hash or # symbol) after the docket number denotes an “old law” decision that is based on the statutes that were in effect prior to May 15th, 2011, or in other words, that apply to a claim for an injury that occurred prior to May 15, 2011.

Soon you will also be able search for a decision by typing keywords into the box below. Keywords can be topics such as preexisting, citations such as 44-501, names of one or more of the parties to a claim, docket numbers, or any other desired set of alphanumerical characters (such as letters of the alphabet and numbers).

Note: If you have difficulty opening the file, the Board Decisions are saved in a PDF format for improved accessibility and search capabilities. You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader (available free at adobe.com) to open or print the files. If you have difficulty in opening any of the decision files, you may need to update your version of the reader. If after updating your reader you continue to have difficulties, please contact the Workers Compensation Division for support.

 

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

Feburary 2021

January 2021

KSA 44-551(d) gives the Director the authority to appoint Special Administrative Law Judges for the purpose of examining and hearing any designated cases. Special Administrative Law Judges shall be attorneys admitted to practice law in Kansas. They shall have the same authority to exercise powers of regular Administrative Law Judges. Special Administrative Law Judges shall be paid according K.A.R. 51-2-5. (*K.A.R. 51-2-5 amended, effective November 11, 2005).

Special Administrative Law Judges fees include:

  • $50.00 for each settlement hearing heard as part of a regular settlement docket.
  • $50.00 for each settlement hearing heard as an individual setting.
  • $100.00 for each preliminary hearing including a preliminary award or for a full hearing.
  • $100.00 for each pre-hearing settlement conference.
  • $85.00 per hour for preparing and rendering a final award. Total not to exceed $500.00. (b) If a special local administrative law judge incurs expenses conducting one or more settlement hearings in a location other than the judge's home community, the expenses shall be assessed as costs proportionately among the cases generating the expenses.
Note: The responsible party will pay the fees.

List of Current Special Administrative Law Judges

Determine Special Administrative Law Judges that serve in your county using the list below.

Barton County

PO Box 1626
Great Bend, KS 67530

Crawford County

Sara Beezley
beezleylaw@ckt.net

Assistant: Kenna Combs
beezleylaw1@ckt.net

PO Box 352
Girard, KS 66743

Finney County & SW Kansas

Thomas J. Burgardt
tjb@calihanlawfirm.com

PO Box 1016
Garden City, KS 67846-1016

Ford County & SW Kansas

Thomas F. Richardson
TRichardson@odsgc.net

PO Box 189
Garden City, KS 67846

Johnson County & Wyandotte County

Mark E. Kolich
mek@kolichlaw.com

Assistant: Julie Jaklevic
jaj@wkslawkc.com

8500 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Suite L6
Merriam, KS 66202

Michael R. Wallace

Assistant: Carolee Borgman
cpb@wkslawkc.com

8500 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Suite L6
Merriam, KS 66202

Sedgwick County

John L. Carmichael
john@fcse.net

Assistant: Chesna Fowler
cfowler@fcse.net

Assistant: Julie Scheideman
julie@fcse.net

200 W Douglas Ave, Suite 300
Wichita, KS 67202

John C. Nodgaard

Assistant: Kelly Long
klong@arnmullins.com

300 W Douglas Ave, Suite 330
Wichita, KS 67202

Tom Hammond

Assistant: Lorena Hathaway
lhathaway@hzflaw.com

200 W Douglas, Suite 420
Wichita, KS 67202

Shawnee County

1001 SE Quincy
Topeka, KS 66612