Mediation and Judicial Services
Mediation and Judicial Services
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. Judges usually order mediation before a formal hearing. This allows the parties to work through their disputes without the downside of handling 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.
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 to conduct timely hearings in contested Workers Compensation claims, and render orders based on the facts presented, as applied to the Workers Compensation act. For an initial determination of benefits, preliminary hearings are set on a priority basis, and preliminary decisions are issued within five days of the hearing.
- How to File for a Hearing: Workers Compensation Practice and Procedure Guide (K-WC 14)
- How to File for a Hearing - Unrepresented K-WC 28 (English)
- How to File for a Hearing - Unrepresented K-WC 280 (Spanish)
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.
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.
- Application for Hearing (K-WC-E-1)
- Surviving Spouse or Dependent / Heirs Application for Hearing (K-WC-E-2)
- Application for Preliminary Hearing (K-WC-E-3)
- Application for Post Award Medical (k-WC-E-4)
- Application for Review and Modification (K-WC-E-5)
- Order for Production of Records (Rev. 10-12) (K-WC-317)
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.
The court conducts review of decisions from new and without reference to any previous court case or decision. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Board Members (effective January 1, 2021)
- Rebecca Sanders (Chair)
- John F. Carpinelli
- Seth G. Valerius
- William G. Belden
- Chris A. Clements
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.
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. The parties must provide five copies of each pleading filed.
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 that oral argument is not necessary, the case may be referred to mediation and/or will be placed on the summary docket and a notice sent to all parties.
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 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.
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.
You can also 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.
- AP-00-0457-217 Talavera v. Bob's Super Saver, Inc. (1)
- AP-00-0457-090 McSmith v Creekstone Farms Premium Beef
- AP-00-0457-065 Williams v. City of Topeka
- AP-00-0456-648 Jonson v. Hospital Linen Services, Inc.
- AP-00-0456-096 Butler v. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
- AP-00-0455-816 Brown v. Nazdar Company
- AP-00-0455-698 del Carmen Sanchez v National Beef Packing Co
- AP-00-0455-696 Shaffer v. Masonite Corporation
- AP-00-0451-424 Shepard v. Walmart, Inc.
- AP-00-0454-091 Ojeda v. Hutchinson Salt Co. Inc.
- AP-00-0456-686 Auld v ALJ Home Renovations LLC
- AP-00-0456-681 Auld v ALJ Home Renovations LLC
- AP-00-0456-423 Clifft v. AK Roofing and Construction LLC
- AP-00-0456-190 To v. National Beef Packing
- AP-00-0456-100 Phillips v. Lacrosse Furniture Company
- AP-00-0455-555 Adam v. Ashby House
- AP-00-0454-446 Brauner v University of Kansas Hospital Authority
- AP-00-0454-228 Riley v. BJ's Restaurant Operations Co.
- AP-00-0454-091 Ojeda v. Hutchinson Salt Co. Inc.
- AP-00-0455-926 Spear v. Alpha Mowing and Landscaping, LLC
- AP-00-0455-924 Haney v City of Lawrence
- AP-00-0455-893 Derringer v. Marten Transport, Ltd
- AP-00-0455-853 Cabeza v. Cargill Meat Solutions
- AP-00-0454-186 Buckman v. Peerless Products, Inc.
- AP-00-0454-185 Buckman v. Peerless Products, Inc.
- AP-00-0454-107 Macias de Hernandez v Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc
- AP-00-0454-055 Simon v Tyson Fresh Meats Inc & SI
- AP-00-0452-846 Silerio-Nunez v. Dold Foods, LLC
- AP-00-0452-845 Silerio-Nunez v. Dold Foods, LLC
- AP-00-0452-538 Pimenta-Stone v. Parker Hannifin
- AP-00-0443-097 Rickson v. Kerns Construction - Order on Remand
- AP-00-0455-871 Chrislip v. LSI Corp
- AP-00-0455-677 Cox v. Flint Hills Automotive, LLC
- AP-00-0455-524 Almuhandes v. Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.
- AP-00-0454-854 Reves v. Image Environmental
- AP-00-0454-839 Bolton v LSI Corp and Zurich American Ins Co
- AP-00-0453-194 Ramos-Reyes v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.
- AP-00-0453-065 Zamarripa v Jai Ambe Maa Inc dba Comfort Inn & Zurich
- AP-00-0453-048 - Prieto v. Cargill Meat Solutions
- AP-00-0455-578 Peavy v. Deffenbaugh Industries Inc
- AP-00-0453-774 Martinez v. Packers Sanitation Services, Inc.
- AP-00-0454-758 Whitmore v Community Living Opportunities Inc
- AP-00-0453-773 Martinez v. Packers Sanitation Services, Inc.
- AP-00-0454-371 Carrilllo v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.
- AP-00-0453-357 Fogarty v. Menard Inc.
- AP-00-0454-052 Chrislip v. LSI Corp
- AP-00-0453-334 Hollinger v. Premier Custom Care, LLC
- AP-00-0453-971 Williams v. Mercy Kansas Communities, Inc
- AP-00-0452-563 Moses v Weaver Ventures (Sears)
- AP-00-0453-902 Timmons v. Sunset Home, Inc.
- AP-00-0452-304 Weve v. Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc.
- AP-00-0452-646 Gamez Oliver v. National Beef Packing Co.
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.
List of Current Special Administrative Law Judges
Determine Special Administrative Law Judges that serve in your county using the list below.