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Oppose Section 15.1.6.(B) of The Budget Bill

Protecting injured workers is a full-time job. Attorneys work to protect the interests of injured workers not only in their offices and the Industrial Commission but at the Legislature as well. This summer, the NC General Assembly will make decisions regarding the State budget and one such decision may have a very negative effect on North Carolina’s injured workers.

In North Carolina, Workers’ Compensation cases are governed by the Industrial Commission. If an employee and an employer/insurance company have a disagreement about issues like weekly benefits, medical treatment or permanent disability, Deputy Commissioners hear evidence and make decisions that will affect injured workers and their benefits. For many years, the Deputy Commissioners of the Industrial Commission have been protected like other State employees by the State Personnel Act, which prohibits termination for rendering decisions with which powerful and influential corporations and individuals may disagree. This has allowed Deputy Commissioners to be fair and impartial when rendering decisions in Workers’ Compensation cases.

Many of our Deputy Commissioners have more than a decade of experience hearing and deciding complex workers’ compensation cases. Not only do these Deputy Commissioners have vast experience with complicated workers’ compensation laws, but they have valuable knowledge and understanding of medical issues that arise in many workers’ compensation cases. Unfortunately, under Section 15.1.6.(b) of the current budget bill, all current Deputy Commissioners will be placed on a fast track to termination and will be replaced by political appointees who will serve only at the pleasure of the Industrial Commission and those who control political power in our state. As a result, the rights of injured workers will be further eroded. Quite simply, both injured workers AND employers deserve decision-makers that are able to make fair and impartial decisions without fear of losing their jobs.

It is wrong to fire every single workers’ compensation judge for no reason. Please send a strong message to the lawmakers on the Budget Conference Committee that they should not make the Industrial Commission MORE political and ask your legislators to oppose Section 15.1.6.(b) of the budget bill.

If your Representative or Senator is on the Budget Conference Committee, please contact them today! A list of all committee members appears below.

2014 Budget Conference Committee

House Committee Members

Senate Committee Members

Senate Committee Members


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