WCB issues new rules related to translation of written documents at hearing

Kevin AndersonAfter several months of deliberation, the board passed new rules requiring translation of non-English documents for hearing. OAR 438-007-0045. The parties can either stipulate to the translation, or the party offering the document must include an English translation.

Any dispute regarding the translation will be resolved by the ALJ and the ALJ can consult any person or entity the judge deems to achieve substantial justice. The costs of the translation can be resolved by stipulation, reimbursable to the worker’s attorney, or paid by the WCB if the judge incurred the costs.

With these rules, the board also required all acceptances and denials issued on or after June 1, 2019 to include a “multi-language help-page.” The notice provides contact information for the Ombudsman’s office in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Arabic. We recommend you include this with major correspondence with an injured worker (claim acknowledgements, time-loss notices, IME notices, claim closure, etc.).

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact me.

Kevin Anderson

503-595-2130

kanderson@sbhlegal.com