On October 8, 2021 the NYS  Workers’ Compensation Board issued a bulletin in regards to Section 32 Agreements: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYWCB/bulletins/2f633a4.  The main points of the Board’s announcement are as follows:

  • The Board will disapprove a Section 32 Agreement if it becomes aware that as a condition of entering into the Section 32 Agreement, the parties entered into a separate agreement or contract that contains terms which are not included in the agreement submitted to the Board;
  • As of 12/6/21, all 32 Agreements must be accompanied by an affidavit (if signed by attorney) or affirmation (if signed by non-attorney) executed by the person who has signed the 32 Agreement on behalf of the carrier, self-insured employer, or TPA. This affidavit /affirmation will affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the agreement submitted to the Board contains all terms and conditions and that no separate agreement or contract has been entered into by the parties that are not reflected in the agreement submitted to the Board;
  • The Board will give “significant scrutiny” to any term in the Section 32 Agreement providing for a general release to all claims against the carrier, self-insured employer, or TPA.

What does this mean for your settlement program? If your insured, carrier, or self-insured employer wishes to move forward with a Section 32 agreement along with any other agreement, such as a release- all terms must be included within the language of the Section 32 Agreement.  Please contact us at clientservices@jonesjonesllc.com to discuss the implications of this Board bulletin and how it may affect how your Section 32 Agreements are written and their subsequent review by the Board.  As always, the attorneys of Jones Jones LLC look forward to working with you and your team to navigate your settlement program towards great success.