On May 4, 2022, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District in the case of Michele Earley vs. WCAB issued an Order to Show Cause in response to a petition for a writ of mandate filed by various applicants seeking a writ declaring the “grant-for-study” procedure of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (Board) to be unconstitutional and unlawful pursuant to Labor Code sections 5313 and 5909. In addition to the petition filed by the applicants, the court received and granted leave to file amicus curiae briefs by several amici.
The Justices of the Court of Appeal issued an order to show cause to the WCAB why the Board should not be ordered: (1) to cease issuing orders on petitions for reconsideration that grant reconsideration for the purpose of further study without addressing whether reconsideration is warranted under Labor Code section 5903 (i.e., “grant-for-study” orders); and, (2) to comply with the requirement of Labor Code section 5908.5 that “any decision of the appeals board granting or denying a petition for reconsideration . . . shall state the evidence relied upon and specify in detail the reasons for the decision.” The written return should also address: (1) the origin and reasons for the Board’s grant-for-study procedure; and (2) the criteria the Board employs in deciding whether to issue a grant-for-study order.
Petitioners, real parties in interest, and amicus curiae were allowed to file a reply to the Board’s written return within 15 days of the date the return is filed.