Washington: Postmark Spells Doom for Employee’s Notice of Appeal

Washington: Postmark Spells Doom for Employee’s Notice of Appeal

In order for an aggrieved party to perfect an appeal of a Board decision, the party must serve a notice of appeal on both the Board and the Department within 30 days of the Board’s decision [Rev. Code Wash. § 51.52.110] and that time frame is mandatory; the court has no discretion to extend it, held a Washington appellate court recently.  The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals issued a decision and order denying an employee’s request for workers’ compensation benefits.  A paralegal mailed a copy of the notice of appeal to the Department, the Board, and the Attorney General’s office, with a postmark dated 33 days after the decision.  The paralegal signed a certificate of service indicating, however, that she had mailed a copy of the notice of appeal on the 30th day following the Board’s decision, but all envelopes containing the notice were postmarked three days later.  The court held that under the circumstances, there was no discretion to extend the time period.  The appeal had not been perfected.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Smith v. Department of Labor and Indus., 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 117 (Jan. 21, 2014) [2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 117 (Jan. 21, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 124.08 [124.08]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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