Chapter 6. Findings And Awards of California Labor Code >> Division 4. >> Part 4. >> Chapter 6.

All awards of the appeals board either for the payment of compensation or for the payment of death benefits, shall carry interest at the same rate as judgments in civil actions on all due and unpaid payments from the date of the making and filing of said award. Such interest shall run from the date of making and filing of an award, as to amounts which by the terms of the award are payable forthwith. As to amounts which under the terms of the award subsequently become due in installments or otherwise, such interest shall run from the date when each such amount becomes due and payable.
The 30-day period specified in Section 5313, shall run from the date of the submission of the application for decision and the provisions requiring the decision within such 30-day period shall be deemed mandatory and not merely directive.
The appeals board in its award may fix and determine the total amount of compensation to be paid and specify the manner of payment, or may fix and determine the weekly disability payment to be made and order payment thereof during the continuance of disability. In the event the injured employee or the dependent of a deceased employee prevails in any petition by the employer for a writ of review from an award of the appeals board and the reviewing court finds that there is no reasonable basis for the petition, it shall remand the cause to the appeals board for the purpose of making a supplemental award awarding to the injured employee or his attorney, or the dependent of a deceased employee or his attorney a reasonable attorney's fee for services rendered in connection with the petition for writ of review. Any such fee shall be in addition to the amount of compensation otherwise recoverable and shall be paid as part of the award by the party liable to pay such award.
If, in any proceeding under this division, it is proved that an injury has been suffered for which the employer would be liable to pay compensation if disability had resulted therefrom, but it is not proved that any disability has resulted, the appeals board may, instead of dismissing the application, award a nominal disability indemnity, if it appears that disability is likely to result at a future time.
The appeals board has continuing jurisdiction over all its orders, decisions, and awards made and entered under the provisions of this division, and the decisions and orders of the rehabilitation unit established under Section 139.5. At any time, upon notice and after an opportunity to be heard is given to the parties in interest, the appeals board may rescind, alter, or amend any order, decision, or award, good cause appearing therefor. This power includes the right to review, grant or regrant, diminish, increase, or terminate, within the limits prescribed by this division, any compensation awarded, upon the grounds that the disability of the person in whose favor the award was made has either recurred, increased, diminished, or terminated.
Any conviction pursuant to Section 1871.4 of the Insurance Code that materially affects the basis of any order, decision, or award of the appeals board shall be sufficient grounds for a reconsideration of that order, decision, or award.
No award of compensation shall be rescinded, altered, or amended after five years from the date of the injury except upon a petition by a party in interest filed within such five years and any counterpetition seeking other relief filed by the adverse party within 30 days of the original petition raising issues in addition to those raised by such original petition. Provided, however, that after an award has been made finding that there was employment and the time to petition for a rehearing or reconsideration or review has expired or such petition if made has been determined, the appeals board upon a petition to reopen shall not have the power to find that there was no employment.
Any order, decision, or award rescinding, altering or amending a prior order, decision, or award shall have the effect herein provided for original orders, decisions, and awards.
Any party affected thereby may file a certified copy of the findings and order, decision, or award of the appeals board with the clerk of the superior court of any county. Judgment shall be entered immediately by the clerk in conformity therewith. The words "any party affected thereby" include the Uninsured Employers Fund. In any case in which the findings and order, decision, or award of the appeals board is against an employer that has failed to secure the payment of compensation, the State of California on behalf of the Uninsured Employers Fund shall be entitled to have judgment entered not only against the employer, but also against any person found to be parents or substantial shareholders under Section 3717.
The certified copy of the findings and order, decision, or award of the appeals board and a copy of the judgment constitute the judgment-roll. The pleadings, all orders of the appeals board, its original findings and order, decision, or award, and all other papers and documents filed in the cause shall remain on file in the office of the appeals board.
The appeals board or a member thereof may stay the execution of any judgment entered upon an order, decision, or award of the appeals board, upon good cause appearing therefor and may impose the terms and conditions of the stay of execution. A certified copy of such order shall be filed with the clerk entering judgment. Where it is desirable to stay the enforcement of an order, decision, or award and a certified copy thereof and of the findings has not been issued, the appeals board or a member thereof may order the certified copy to be withheld with the same force and under the same conditions as it might issue a stay of execution if the certified copy had been issued and judgment entered thereon.
When a judgment is satisfied in fact, otherwise than upon an execution, the appeals board may, upon motion of either party or of its own motion, order the entry of satisfaction of the judgment. The clerk shall enter satisfaction of judgment only upon the filing of a certified copy of such order.
The orders, findings, decisions, or awards of the appeals board made and entered under this division may be reviewed by the courts specified in Sections 5950 to 5956 within the time and in the manner therein specified and not otherwise.
(a) No fees shall be charged by the clerk of any court for the performance of any official service required by this division, except for the docketing of awards as judgments and for certified copies of transcripts thereof. In all proceedings under this division before the appeals board, costs as between the parties may be allowed by the appeals board.
  (b) (1) It shall be the responsibility of any party producing a witness requiring an interpreter to arrange for the presence of a qualified interpreter.
  (2) A qualified interpreter is a language interpreter who is certified, or deemed certified, pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 11435.05) of Chapter 4.5 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, or Section 68566 of, the Government Code. The duty of an interpreter is to accurately and impartially translate oral communications and transliterate written materials, and not to act as an agent or advocate. An interpreter shall not disclose to any person who is not an immediate participant in the communications the content of the conversations or documents that the interpreter has interpreted or transliterated unless the disclosure is compelled by court order. An attempt by any party or attorney to obtain disclosure is a bad faith tactic that is subject to Section 5813. Interpreter fees that are reasonably, actually, and necessarily incurred shall be paid by the employer under this section, provided they are in accordance with the fee schedule adopted by the administrative director. A qualified interpreter may render services during the following:
  (A) A deposition.
  (B) An appeals board hearing.
  (C) A medical treatment appointment or medical-legal examination.
  (D) During those settings which the administrative director determines are reasonably necessary to ascertain the validity or extent of injury to an employee who does not proficiently speak or understand the English language.
(a) The workers' compensation referee or appeals board may order a party, the party's attorney, or both, to pay any reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees and costs, incurred by another party as a result of bad-faith actions or tactics that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay. In addition, a workers' compensation referee or the appeals board, in its sole discretion, may order additional sanctions not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to be transmitted to the General Fund.
  (b) The determination of sanctions shall be made after written application by the party seeking sanctions or upon the appeal board's own motion.
  (c) This section shall apply to all applications for adjudication that are filed on or after January 1, 1994.
(a) When payment of compensation has been unreasonably delayed or refused, either prior to or subsequent to the issuance of an award, the amount of the payment unreasonably delayed or refused shall be increased up to 25 percent or up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), whichever is less. In any proceeding under this section, the appeals board shall use its discretion to accomplish a fair balance and substantial justice between the parties.
  (b) If a potential violation of this section is discovered by the employer prior to an employee claiming a penalty under this section, the employer, within 90 days of the date of the discovery, may pay a self-imposed penalty in the amount of 10 percent of the amount of the payment unreasonably delayed or refused, along with the amount of the payment delayed or refused. This self-imposed penalty shall be in lieu of the penalty in subdivision (a).
  (c) Upon the approval of a compromise and release, findings and awards, or stipulations and orders by the appeals board, it shall be conclusively presumed that any accrued claims for penalty have been resolved, regardless of whether a petition for penalty has been filed, unless the claim for penalty is expressly excluded by the terms of the order or award. Upon the submission of any issue for determination at a regular trial hearing, it shall be conclusively presumed that any accrued claim for penalty in connection with the benefit at issue has been resolved, regardless of whether a petition for penalty has been filed, unless the issue of penalty is also submitted or is expressly excluded in the statement of issues being submitted.
  (d) The payment of any increased award pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be reduced by any amount paid under subdivision (d) of Section 4650 on the same unreasonably delayed or refused benefit payment.
  (e) No unreasonable delay in the provision of medical treatment shall be found when the treatment has been authorized by the employer in a timely manner and the only dispute concerns payment of a billing submitted by a physician or medical provider as provided in Section 4603.2.
  (f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a civil cause of action.
  (g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no action may be brought to recover penalties that may be awarded under this section more than two years from the date the payment of compensation was due.
  (h) This section shall apply to all injuries, without regard to whether the injury occurs before, on, or after the operative date of this section.
  (i) This section shall become operative on June 1, 2004.
When the payment of compensation has been unreasonably delayed or refused prior to the issuance of an award, and the director has provided discretionary compensation pursuant to Section 4903.3, the appeals board shall award to the director a penalty to be paid by the employer in the amount of 10 percent of the compensation so provided by the director, such penalty to be in addition to the penalty imposed by Section 5814. The question of delay and the reasonableness of the cause therefor shall be determined by the appeals board in accordance with the facts.
When the payment of compensation has been unreasonably delayed or refused subsequent to the issuance of an award by an employer that has secured the payment of compensation pursuant to Section 3700, the appeals board shall, in addition to increasing the order, decision, or award pursuant to Section 5814, award reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in enforcing the payment of compensation awarded.
(a) Any employer or insurer that knowingly violates Section 5814 with a frequency that indicates a general business practice is liable for administrative penalties of not to exceed four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000). Penalty payments shall be imposed by the administrative director and deposited into the Return-to-Work Fund established pursuant to Section 139.48.
  (b) The administrative director may impose a penalty under either this section or subdivision (e) of Section 129.5.
  (c) This section shall become operative on June 1, 2004.
Every order, decision or award, other than an order merely appointing a trustee or guardian, shall contain a determination of all issues presented for determination by the appeals board prior thereto and not theretofore determined. Any issue not so determined will be deemed decided adversely as to the party in whose interest such issue was raised.
A determination of facts by the appeals board under this chapter has no collateral estoppel effect on a subsequent criminal prosecution and does not preclude litigation of those same facts in the criminal proceeding.