24-a. Representation before the workers' compensation board. 1. No person, firm or corporation, other than an attorney and counsellor-at-law, shall appear on behalf of any claimant or person entitled to the benefits of this chapter, before the board or any officer, agent or employee of the board assigned to conduct any hearing, investigation or inquiry relative to a claim for compensation or benefits under this chapter, unless he or she shall be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, and shall have obtained from the board a license authorizing him or her to appear in matters or proceedings before the board. Such license shall be issued by the board in accordance with the rules established by it. Any person, firm or corporation violating the aforesaid provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The board, in its rules, shall provide for the issuance of licenses to representatives of charitable and welfare organizations, and to associations who employ a representative to appear for members of such association, upon certification of the proper officer of such association or organization, which licenses shall issue without charge; and may provide for a license without fee in the case of all other persons, firms or corporations in an amount to be fixed by said rules. The board shall have such tests of character and fitness with respect to applicants for licenses, and such rules governing the conduct of those licensed, as aforesaid, as it may deem necessary.
2. There shall be maintained in each office of the board a registry or list of persons to whom licenses have been issued as provided herein, which list shall be corrected as often as licenses are issued or revoked. Absence of a record of a license issued as herein provided shall be prima facie evidence that a person, firm or corporation is not licensed to represent claimants. Any such license may be revoked by the board, for cause, after a hearing before the board. No license hereunder shall be issued for a period longer than three years from the date of its issuance.
3. Refusal by any person to whom a license has been issued authorizing him to appear on behalf of any claimant to answer, upon request of the board, or other duly authorized officer, board or committee of the state, any legal question or to produce any relevant book or paper concerning his conduct under such license, shall constitute adequate cause for revocation thereof.
4. Only an attorney, or a representative licensed in accordance with rules established by the board pursuant to subdivisions three-b and three-d of section fifty of this chapter, shall appear on behalf of an employer or an insurance carrier regarding a claim for compensation or any benefits under this chapter before the board or any officer, agent or employee of the board assigned to conduct any hearing relative to a claim for compensation or benefits under this chapter. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to a designated regular employee of a self-insured employer, or of an insurance carrier appearing on behalf of his or her employer, but the board may prohibit the appearance of any such employee for cause.
Last modified: February 3, 2019