COMMISSIONER ORDERS ALL HEARINGS TO TAKE PLACE VIRTUALLY IN PERPETUITY
On August 11, 2022, the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, Joseph S. Cortese II, issued an administrative order making all hearings virtual for the foreseeable future.
Beginning October 29, 2022, all currently-scheduled hearings in contested cases before the Division will be held by “internet-based video,” unless the Division grants a motion for an in-person hearing. Any hearing order scheduled to take place in person after October 28, 2022, was automatically amended to be held online.
Parties may make a motion to hold the hearing in person, but they must do so no less than 60 days prior to the hearing date. If all of the parties file a joint motion for an in-person hearing, then the motion must be granted. If the motion is not filed by all of the parties, then the moving parties must show good cause for the hearing to be in person.
This order was not unexpected. The Commissioner’s Office first ordered all hearings to be held virtually at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, since that time, the Commissioner has repeatedly extended that order. While those prior orders were only meant to be temporary, the August 11, 2022, order is meant to be permanent.