2011 Alaska Statutes
Title 23. LABOR AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION
Chapter 23.30. ALASKA WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT
Sec. 23.30.128. Commission proceedings.
(a) An appeal from a decision of the board under this chapter, and other proceedings under this section, shall be heard and decided by a three-member panel of the commission. An appeal panel of the commission must include the chair of the commission. The chair of the commission shall assign two members to each appeal, including one commission member classified as representing employees and one commission member classified as representing employers. Acts, decisions, and orders of the commission panel in the appeal or related proceeding shall be considered the acts, decisions, and orders of the full commission. The matter on appeal shall be decided on the record made before the board, a transcript or recording of the proceedings before the board, and oral argument and written briefs allowed by the commission. Except as provided in (c) of this section, new or additional evidence may not be received with respect to the appeal.
(b) The commission may review discretionary actions, findings of fact, and conclusions of law by the board in hearing, determining, or otherwise acting on a compensation claim or petition. The board's findings regarding the credibility of testimony of a witness before the board are binding on the commission. The board's findings of fact shall be upheld by the commission if supported by substantial evidence in light of the whole record. In reviewing questions of law and procedure, the commission shall exercise its independent judgment.
(c) The commission may hold hearings and receive evidence on applications for (1) stays under AS 23.30.125 ; (2) attorney fees and costs of appeal; (3) waiver of fees by indigent appellants; or (4) dismissal of appeals for failure to prosecute or upon settlement. The commission may rely on new or additional evidence presented during the hearing in making its decision on the application.
(d) The commission may affirm, reverse, or modify a decision or order upon review and issue other orders as appropriate. The commission may remand matters it determines were improperly, incompletely, or otherwise insufficiently developed. The commission may remand for further proceedings and appropriate action with or without relinquishing the commission's jurisdiction of the appeal. The administrative adjudication procedures of AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) do not apply to the proceedings of the commission.
(e) Within 90 days after written briefing on the appeal is completed or oral argument is held, whichever is later, the commission shall issue a decision in writing. The decision must contain a concise statement of reasons for the decision, including findings of fact, if required, and conclusions of law. The commission shall serve each party and the director with a copy of the decision. Appeals may be expedited for good cause by the commission. Unless reconsideration is ordered under (f) of this section, a decision under this subsection is the final commission decision.
(f) A party or the director may request reconsideration of a decision issued under (e) of this section within 30 days after the date of service shown in the certificate of service of the decision. The request must state specific grounds for reconsideration. Reconsideration may be granted if, in reaching the decision, the commission (1) overlooked, misapplied, or failed to consider a statute, regulation, court or administrative decision, or legal principle directly controlling; (2) overlooked or misconceived a material fact; (3) misconceived a material question in the case; or (4) applied law in the ruling that has subsequently changed. The panel of the commission hearing the request for reconsideration shall consist of the same members of the panel that issued the decision. The commission may issue an order for reconsideration of all or part of the decision upon request of a party or the director. Reconsideration is based on the record, unless the commission allows additional argument. The power to order reconsideration expires 60 days after the date of service, as shown on the certificate of service, of a decision issued under (e) of this section. If the commission does not issue an order for reconsideration within the time allowed for ordering reconsideration, a request for reconsideration is considered denied. If reconsideration is ordered, the commission shall issue a decision within 30 days after the close of the record on reconsideration. The commission shall serve each party in the case with a copy of the decision upon reconsideration. The decision upon reconsideration is the final commission decision.
(g) A decision of the commission becomes final on the
(1) 31st day after the date of service of a decision if reconsideration is not requested;
(2) 61st day after the date of service of a decision if reconsideration is requested but an order for reconsideration is not issued; or
(3) date of service of the commission decision upon reconsideration under (f) of this section if reconsideration is requested and an order for reconsideration is issued.
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