February 27, 2024
by Madeline Mahugh

Guidance on a Washington Workers’ Compensation Occupational Disease in a Post-COVID (Presumption) Era

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries lifted its COVID coverage presumption on April 11, 2023. Under the presumption, frontline workers who tested positive for…

February 20, 2024
by Daisha Barnes

Oregon Injured Worker Not Cooperating? There’s a Denial for that.

Insurers or self-insured employers are required to conduct a reasonable investigation based on all available information” in order to decide whether to accept or deny…

February 13, 2024
by Nathan McFadden

New Washington case provides limitations to Maphet

For self-insured employers in Washington, one of the most significant decisions in recent years was the Washington Court of Appeals’ 2019 opinion in Clark County…

February 9, 2024
by TJ Bhullar

Reminder – Significant changes to Oregon claim closure requirements and temporary disability notices

The start of the year brought several updates to the administrative rules governing claim closure, reconsideration, claim administration, and vocational assistance to injured workers. Carriers…

January 31, 2024
by Dee Akinbosade

Extinguishing the Firefighter Presumption in Oregon Workers’ Compensation

The introduction of H.B. 2915 to the Oregon Legislature, signed into law in the same year, expanded workers’ compensation protection to Portland firefighters who had…

January 30, 2024
by Kevin Anderson

Oregon WCD Proposing New Medical Treatment and Billing Rules

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division had a public comment meeting in November 2023 to discuss issues related to the medical fee schedule, medical services, and…

January 22, 2024
by Allison Harper

New Process Safety Management for Refineries in Washington Coming in 2024

The Department of Labor and Industries has updated workplace safety rules targeted at preventing catastrophic events at petroleum refineries as defined in WAC Chapter 296-67…

January 16, 2024
by Courtney Kreutz

Ensuring Temporary Disability Benefits Issue Timely in Oregon

Whether an insurer timely paid temporary disability benefits in Oregon is one of the most heavily litigated issues in workers’ compensation. Late-payments create exposure for…

January 3, 2024
by McKenzie Brooks

Substitute House Bill Passed to Address Surgical Smoke Hazards in Washington

Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1779 to address surgical smoke hazards in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers in hopes to…

December 20, 2023
by Matthew Baker

Flare-Ups, Aggravation, and Combined Conditions: When is Arthritis Compensable in Oregon workers’ compensation?

If a worker with longstanding cervical arthritis injures her neck while lifting a box at work, can the arthritis itself be a compensable condition under…

December 12, 2023
by Hannah Teig

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act- What to Know

What is it? The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA)  went into effect on June 27, 2023. The PWFA is a federal law that expands existing…

December 8, 2023
by Evan Novotny

Oregon Administrative Claim Closure Requires Strict Compliance with the Rule

Administrative closure can be a useful tool for processing an Oregon Workers’ Compensation claim to closure where a worker is inconsistent or non-compliant with treatment…

December 5, 2023
by Elizabeth Aaberg

When can a Washington self-insured employer issue a closing order?

Generally, when a Washington workers’ compensation claim is ready for closure, a self-insured employer will submit a request for claim closure to the Department and…

November 22, 2023
by Christina Joseph

Beware of Fees on Fees in Oregon Workers’ Compensation Cases

In the case of Taylor v. SAIF, 329 Or App 135 (2023) (Taylor II), the Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Workers’ Compensation…

November 15, 2023
by Sara Densmore

Have you or someone you know been negatively affected by the new Washington IME rules? Get help here!

The new Washington Independent Medical Exam (IME) recording and co-recording rules have made obtaining an IME even more difficult than when they were limited by…

November 6, 2023
by Stephen Verotsky

Can a denial in Oregon based on an independent record review trigger entitlement to WRME?

Recently, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board confirmed that entitlement to a worker requested medical examination (WRME) is only triggered when the employer’s denial is based…

October 25, 2023
by Kevin Anderson

Reminder – Oregon Legislative Changes Starting January 1, 2024

As we approach the end of the year, it is important to remember that there are some big changes coming to Oregon workers’ compensation claim…

October 17, 2023
by Christine Olson

All Washington Self-Insured Employers Should Be Aware of (And Attend if Possible) the Department of Labor & Industries “Listening Sessions” Regarding the Newly Enacted “Bad Faith” Laws

The Washington legislature passed one of two pieces of legislation that creates new duties and standards for some self-insured employers. Substitute House Bill 1521 is…

October 11, 2023
by Elyse Waters

The Oregon Legislature has been busy this year!

You have probably heard about House Bill 3471 which changed the way defense counsel and adjusters settle workers’ compensation claims, specifically with regard to employment…

October 4, 2023
by Omeed Ghaffari

Limitations for self-insured employers in Washington recouping overpayment benefits

During the administration of a workers’ compensation claim, it is common for the self-insured employer or the Department of Labor and Industries to pay the…

September 29, 2023
by Laurel Hensley

Oregonian Names SBH Legal A Winner Of The Oregon And Southwestern Washington Top Workplaces 2023 Award

SBH Legal has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2023 honor by The Oregonian. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey. …

September 26, 2023
by Andrew Evenson

Investigations and Compensability Standards

Industrial Injury? Occupational Disease? Combined Condition? Under what theory of compensability should you investigate an initial claim for compensation? All of them! Under Oregon Administrative…

September 19, 2023
by Kara Cogswell Kidder

EEOC Provides Updated Guidance on ADA, Including Implications of New Technology

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued updated guidance for how the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees…

September 12, 2023
by Joe Urbanski

Washington L&I may add nurses to PTSD presumption

On September 7, 2023, the Department of Labor and Industries issues a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking adding a new section to WAC 296-14-300 adding…

September 6, 2023
by Anna McFaul

What evidence is necessary to support a ceases denial in Oregon?

ORS 656.262(6)(c) authorizes an administrator to deny an accepted combined condition if the compensable injury ceases to be the major contributing cause of the combined…

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