Nearly two full years after COVID-19 briefly shut down the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system, and then created a dramatic shift in how litigation was done, the PA Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has announced measures to return to some level of our prior (the old “normal”) operation.
It has been since March, 2020, that most of us in the workers’ compensation bar have physically been inside of a workers’ comp hearing room. Nearly every hearing and mediation since that time has taken place in a virtual format.
The Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication (WCOA) has officially announced that mask mandates have been lifted and live (in person) hearings and mediations may again commence. While the virtual hearings which have become the new “normal” will continue in some respects, it appears that live testimony will once again be taking place. You may recall that the PA workers’ comp courts were permitted to be “open” as of August 16, 2021, though very few Workers’ Compensation Judges (WCJs) actually held live hearings. At Brilliant & Neiman LLC, we have not been involved in a live hearing since March, 2020.