The Legislature created the Workers' Compensation Court (WCC) in 1975 to provide an efficient and effective forum for the resolution of disputes arising under the Workers' Compensation Act and the Occupational Disease Act. Subsequent Legislatures have increased the WCC's exclusive jurisdiction to include matters such as disputes involving independent contractor exemptions and reemployment preferences. The WCC conducts trials statewide and decides requests for judicial review from final orders of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Decisions of the WCC may be appealed directly to the Supreme Court. The WCC Judge, the Hon. James Shea, serves a six-year term and is appointed by the Governor from a list of applicants submitted by the Judicial Nomination Commission. The qualifications for a WCC Judge are the same as those for District Court Judges. The WCC is attached to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry for administrative purposes only.
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