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  • The VR Unit is now being administered contrary to the intent of HRS §386-25.
  • Testimony described VR Unit actions that were “punitive”, “retaliatory”, “intimidating”, “hostile”, “threatening”, “inappropriate”, and “unresponsive.”
  • The VR Unit is abruptly and inexplicably closing VR cases.
  • The VR Unit denies VR plans, even when there are no objections to the plan.
  • The VR Unit transfers cases away from the client’s chosen counselor with no explanation.
  • The VR Unit is not staffed with “appropriate professional staff” as required by law.
  • The VR Unit is not compliant with administrative law as expressed in Chapter 91.
  • The VR Unit inexplicably and wrongfully manipulates case closure statistics.

 

The above complaints are coming from all sides: defense attorneys, plaintiff’s attorneys, insurance carriers, injured workers and VR counselors.  The testimony documents repeated attempts by stakeholders to communicate with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DLIR) about policies and determinations.  DLIR has been steadfastly unresponsive.

 

This is not a new problem.  In 2014, stakeholders worked with DLIR to improve the efficacy of the VR Unit by defining methodology used to exhaust Level Three of the Four Level VR process.  The new DLIR administration surprisingly discarded this collaborative work.

 

In a letter, dated 08/27/15, the undersigned informed the DLIR Director that the VR Unit has a history of making determinations found to be beyond the scope of its authority (ultra vires); determinations that violate Chapter 91 (rule-making).  The Federal Court Case [Vinson v. Thomas] and the Hawaii State Supreme Court Case [Capua vs. Weyehauseur ] are evidence of unlawful overreach by the VR Unit. 

 

In order to gain valuable information and to motivate constructive change, I urge you to please hear and support this resolution.  Please, audit the State VR Unit.

 

Respectfully Submitted By:

Tony Hunstiger