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Established in 1914 by the state legislature, State Fund is California's most reliable provider of workers' compensation insurance and a vital asset to California businesses. State Fund supports California's entrepreneurial spirit and plays a stabilizing role in the economy by providing fairly priced workers' compensation insurance, helping California employers keep their workplaces safe, and restoring injured workers.

ADR Glossary

Key Terms to Understanding ADR Programs

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): procedure to resolve disputes between an employee and their employer in lieu of the traditional workers' compensation system. It includes the use of an ombudsperson, mediator, and arbitrator. If the dispute reaches the arbitration level, the decision of an arbitrator can be appealed to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

Arbitration: process of submitting a disputed matter to selected person(s) and accepting their decision as a substitute for a decision by a court or in the case of ADR, the WCAB.

Arbitrator: person selected to resolve the disputed matter and whose decision is accepted in lieu of a WCAB judge.

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA): agreement negotiated between a union and an employer regarding terms and conditions of work. A CBA may or may not include provisions for alternative dispute resolution.

Labor Code §3201.5: establishes a program in which a union and an employer or group of employers in the construction industry may bargain collectively to create dispute resolution alternatives to the traditional workers' compensation system. (Effective 7/16/1993.)

Labor Code §3201.7: establishes a program in which unions and a private employer or group of employers in any industry, other than construction as defined by LC §3201.5, may bargain collectively to create dispute resolution alternatives to the traditional workers' compensation system. The alternative dispute resolution process is negotiated in a Labor Management Agreement (LMA) and allows legal counsel at all levels of arbitration. (Effective 1/1/2004.)

Labor Management Agreement (LMA): agreement negotiated separately from the Collective Bargaining Agreement specifically between the union and the employer, that establishes the provisions for alternative dispute resolutions under LC §3201.7.

Ombudsperson: person who investigates complaints and tries to resolve them.

Mediation: practice where the services of a third party are used to reduce the differences and to seek a solution.

Mediator: third party who works to reduce differences and seek a solution.

Memorandum of Understanding: negotiated agreement between the employer and representatives of employees that sets out the conditions of employment for a stated period of time.

Signatory Agreement: signed agreement between the union and its members.

Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB): seven-member judicial body appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate that exercises all judicial powers vested in it by the Labor Code. Its major functions include review of petitions for reconsideration of decisions by workers' compensation administrative law judges of the Division of Workers’ Compensation and regulation of the adjudication process by adopting rules of practice and procedure.

The mission of the WCAB is to exercise all judicial powers vested by the Labor Code in a reasonable and sound manner and to provide guidance and leadership to the workers' compensation community through case opinions and regulations.

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