According to an article in the Raleigh News and Observer by Mandy Locke it looks like the NC General Assembly is going to put forward some additional workers’ compensation reforms this session.
The first proposal is one I have discussed before, which is to make employers’ workers’ comp insurance information public. It is simply good sense to allow injured workers, who stand to pay the price if an employer is not insured, have the opportunity to confirm that their employer’s workers’ comp insurance is in place.
The second proposal would require state agencies to share information in an effort to identify NC employers who fail to have the workers’ compensation insurance required by law. This is a direct reaction to Mandy’s articles showing that up to 30,000 employers are skirting NC workers’ compensation laws requiring insurance coverage. With thousands of uninsured employers in North Carolina, requiring the relevant state agencies to collaborate on identifying uninsured employers is a common sense idea that is long overdue. The long-term solution here is to develop robust technology systems that will identify the cheaters. In addition to injured workers, business owners who do things the right way suffer when the have to compete with employers who are cutting corners with their workers’ compensation obligations.
The third proposal calls for a study commission to look at ways to reduce the cost and frequency of NC state employee workers’ compensation claims. Hopefully, this effort will focus on workplace safety and not simply be an avenue for the State to look to save money at the expense of injured workers. As a NC workers’ comp lawyer in the Raleigh area, I represent a number of hard working state employees and am well aware of the challenges they typically face in getting the benefits they deserve and in returning to work.
Please call or email for your free consultation with an experienced NC workers’ comp attorney.