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Kansas bill would give employers more say in administrative law judge selection

Kansas bill would give employers more say in administrative law judge selection

TOPEKA, Kan.—Legislation that would give employers greater control over selecting workers compensation judges passed the Kansas House of Representatives on Monday and moved to the state's Senate.

H.B. 2531, sponsored by the Kansas House's Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, would revise the state's current process for selecting administrative law judges who hear disputed workers comp and unemployment insurance cases.

Currently, judge nominations are made by the Administrative Law Judge Nominating and Review Committee. The committee is made up of two members, one selected by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and another selected by the Kansas AFL-CIO.

But under H.B. 2531, a new seven-member Workers Compensation and Employment Security Boards Nominating Committee would include one member selected by the AFL-CIO; two selections by Kansas' Secretary of Labor, including one representing an employee organization; and four selections made by employer groups.

The employer groups would include the Kansas Self Insurers Assn., the Kansas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

All seven selections to the board would require final appointment by the governor.