Voluntary Binding Review Resolution
The WCB has amended 12NYCRR 300.36 to create a Voluntary Binding Review (VBR) process as an alternative means to resolving determinations of compensation. The VBR reflects another attempt by the WCB to streamline the settlement process.
I like this initiative because it offers a means to reduce the backlog of appeals that can take up to a year to resolve. It also provides a vehicle to bring both sides together to identify issues that need to be adjudicated – and, in the process, perhaps the entire matter can get settled.
On the downside, many stakeholders may be reluctant to use the VBR process because it may involve too much effort without any guarantee of a desirable result. The parties would be entering into a section 32 agreement where someone else makes a decision – a decision that can’t be appealed.