Session of 1999
By Committee on Commerce

  9             AN  ACT concerning workers compensation; relating to the selection of
10             administrative law judges; amending K.S.A. 75-5708 and repealing the
11             existing section.
13       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14             Section  1. K.S.A. 75-5708 is hereby amended to read as follows: 75-
15       5708. (a) There is hereby established within and as a part of the depart-
16       ment of human resources a division of workers compensation. The divi-
17       sion shall be administered, under the supervision of the secretary of
18       human resources, by the director of workers compensation, who shall be
19       the chief administrative officer of the division. The director of workers
20       compensation shall be appointed by the secretary of human resources
21       and shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary. The director shall be in
22       the unclassified service under the Kansas civil service act and shall receive
23       an annual salary fixed by the secretary of human resources, with the ap-
24       proval of the governor. The director of workers compensation shall be an
25       attorney admitted to practice law in the state of Kansas. The director shall
26       devote full time to the duties of such office and shall not engage in the
27       private practice of law during the director's term of office.
28             (b) The director of workers compensation may appoint two assistant
29       directors of workers compensation and also may appoint not to exceed
30       10 administrative law judges. Such assistant directors and administrative
31       law judges shall be in the classified service. The assistant directors shall
32       act for and exercise the powers of the director of workers compensation
33       to the extent authority to do so is delegated by the director. The assistant
34       directors and administrative law judges shall be attorneys admitted to
35       practice law in the state of Kansas, and shall have such powers, duties
36       and functions as are assigned to them by the director or are prescribed
37       by law. The assistant directors and administrative law judges shall devote
38       full time to the duties of their offices and shall not engage in the private
39       practice of law during their terms of office.
40             (c) Assistant directors and administrative law judges shall be selected
41       by the director of workers compensation, with the approval of the sec-
42       retary of human resources. Each appointee shall be subject to either dis-
43       missal or suspension of up to 30 days for any of the following:
44             (1) Failure to conduct oneself in a manner appropriate to the ap-
45       pointee's professional capacity;
46             (2) failure to perform duties as required by the workers compensation
47       act; or
48             (3) any reason set out for dismissal or suspension in the Kansas civil
49       service act or rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
50             No appointee shall be appointed, dismissed or suspended for political,
51       religious or racial reasons or by reason of the appointee's sex. Any ad-
52       ministrative law judge appointed after July 1, 2000, shall be appointed in
53       accordance with the procedures prescribed for the selection of the workers
54       compensation board, pursuant to K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 44-555c, and amend-
55       ments thereto, and shall be appointed for a four-year term. Any admin-
56       istrative law judge so appointed shall agree, prior to appointment, to ad-
57       here to the specifications for the position designated by the director.
58       Failure to adhere to such specifications may serve as grounds for suspen-
59       sion without pay or termination pursuant to K.S.A. 75-2949, and amend-
60       ments thereto. All administrative law judges appointed prior to July 1,
61       2000, shall continue to be members of the classified service. When a seated
62       administrative law judge vacates the administrative law judge's position,
63       such position shall be filled in accordance with this section.  
64       Sec.  2. K.S.A. 75-5708 is hereby repealed.
65        Sec.  3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
66       publication in the statute book.