Oregon workers’ compensation cases are tried to hearing judges called
Administrative Law Judges. The judges are employees of a state agency
called the Workers’ Compensation Board. When a judge decides a workers’
compensation case, the decision (called an Opinion and Order) can be
appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Board. The appeal, called a Request
for Board Review, must be filed within 30 days of the judge’s decision.
There is no filing fee for this appeal. If no appeal is filed, within 30 days,
the decision is final.
If an appeal is timely filed, the Workers’ Compensation Board will
acknowledge receipt of the appeal. The Board will obtain a copy of the
hearing transcript (made from the judge’s digital recording of the hearing).
The Board will send the parties a copy of the transcript and a briefing
schedule. The briefing schedule tells each party when their brief is due. A
brief sets forth the issues to be reviewed, the facts of the case, and the party’s
argument. The Board reviews the judge’s decision de novo, meaning afresh,
or once again from the beginning.
After the Board issues its decision, called an Order on Review, the
parties can either allow the decision to become final or within 30 days file a
Petition for Judicial Review at the Oregon Court of Appeals. There is a
filing fee at the Court of Appeals. The appellate court has a limited review.
The court will not decide the case de novo. The court will not make its own
findings of fact. The court reviews only for errors of law and for substantial
After the Court of Appeals issues its decision, the losing party can
Petition for Review at the Oregon Supreme Court. However, unlike the
Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court is not required to accept a case.