COVID-19: DWC and WCAB Issue Updated Guidelines on Hearing and Filing Procedures (April 3)
Please note: the previous version incorrectly stated parties were expected to appear in court in the last paragraph. We have added the correction that attorneys are expected to appear telephonically.

The DWC and WCAB announced updated hearing and filing procedures on Friday morning in order to continue to safeguard the health and safety of the community and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

They noted they will continue to hear expedited hearings for parties that appear at the district offices through April 10, and that district offices will remain closed for filing purposes through April 10 with all filing deadlines extended to Monday, April 13.

The DWC encourages parties to use the Electronic Adjudication Management System (EAMS) to file documents online, or mail settlement documents and petitions to the district office where the case is filed. Effective immediately, electronic signatures will be accepted on all documents, applications, pleadings, petitions or motions sent to district offices or filed in EAMS.

Filing guidelines, including for settlement document approval, will be posted on the DWC website soon. In the meantime, if you’re having trouble getting settlements approved, click here for directions on filing documents through EAMS.

The DWC will continue to hear status conferences, mandatory settlement conferences and priority conferences via CourtCall only through April 10. All other hearings will be continued with no trials or lien conferences being heard until further notice.

Beginning April 13, all DWC judges in California will hear cases (excluding trials and lien conferences) by an individually assigned TOLL FREE conference line. A list of all conference line numbers will be posted on DWC’s website prior to the effective date.

When the free conference call service begins the week of April 13, there will be a DWC staff person on the phone to direct you on what to do. If the judge has a heavy calendar, they may ask for your email and instruct you to call back in later after other conferences are taken care of, similar to a decision to take some cases first when handling in-person hearings.

Also beginning April 13, attorneys are expected to appear telephonically if they have a matter on calendar, but judges are expected to be lenient under the circumstances in continuing matters if there is a non-appearance. It is recommended you call in right at 8:30 am or 1:30 pm depending on your hearing notice. DWC will continue to only accept filing by e-filing via EAMS , JET file or by mail. No walk through documents.

For more information and a complete rundown of the updated procedures, view the DWC Newsline by clicking here .