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March 31, 2015
On March 22, the Tennessee Department of Labor enacted a set of administrative rules related to securing compliance with orders issued in the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims and at alternative dispute resolution proceedings (ADR). The rules also discuss potential assessment of penalties. These rules apply only to dates of injury on or after July 1, 2014. A workers' compensation judge or any Division employee can refer a person or entity to the penalty program whenever the employee feels there has been a violation of the Division's rules or the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act. Penalties ranging from $50 to $5,000 may be assessed for: failure to attend a scheduled ADR or being more than 30 minutes late to the ADR without previously notifying the mediator; denying or stopping temporary indemnity or medical benefits without a prior reasonable investigation of the claim; untimely providing a C-42 (medical panel) or providing providers on a C-42 that the party knew, should have known, or had good reason to believe, would not provide treatment; failing to timely comply with a request or directive from an ombudsman; failing to timely provide documents required by statute or the Division's rules; or failing to provide a representative with settlement authority at an ADR.
In addition, penalties can be assessed for failure to comply with an order of a workers' compensation judge or for contempt of court. In these two situations, a finding of bad faith is not required.
The rules also provide the procedure for payment and appeal of a penalty assessment.
For more information, click here.