4121.31 Joint adoption of administrative rules.

(A) The administrator of workers' compensation and the industrial commission jointly shall adopt rules covering the following general topics with respect to this chapter and Chapter 4123. of the Revised Code:

(1) Rules that set forth any general policy and the principal operating procedures of the bureau of workers' compensation or commission, including but not limited to:

(a) Assignment to various operational units of any duties placed upon the administrator or the commission by statute;

(b) Procedures for decision-making;

(c) Procedures governing the appearances of a claimant, employer, or their representatives before the agency in a hearing;

(d) Procedures that inform claimants, on request, of the status of a claim and any actions necessary to maintain the claim;

(e) Time goals for activities of the bureau or commission;

(f) Designation of the person or persons authorized to issue directives with directives numbered and distributed from a central distribution point to persons on a list maintained for that purpose.

(2) A rule barring any employee of the bureau or commission from having a workers' compensation claims file in the employee's possession unless the file is necessary to the performance of the employee's duties.

(3) All claims, whether of a state fund or self-insuring employer, be processed in an orderly, uniform, and timely fashion.

(4) Rules governing the submission and sending of applications, notices, evidence, and other documents by electronic means. The rules shall provide that where this chapter or Chapter 4123., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code requires that a document be in writing or requires a signature, the administrator and the commission, to the extent of their respective jurisdictions, may approve of and provide for the electronic submission and sending of those documents, and the use of an electronic signature on those documents.

(B) As used in this section:

(1) "Electronic" includes electrical, digital, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, facsimile, or any other form of technology that entails capabilities similar to these technologies.

(2) "Electronic record" means a record generated, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means for use in an information system or for transmission from one information system to another.

(3) "Electronic signature" means a signature in electronic form attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.

Effective Date: 06-14-2000