Progress Being Made on NC Workers’ Comp Bill

By Richard Thayer

We had blogged a few days ago that the North Carolina General Assembly was poised to vote on HB 709, a bill that could potentially adversely affect workers’ compensation for thousands of those in our state who have been injured on the job.

There was to have been a meeting of the House Tort Reform Committee this past Thursday (May 19) to further discuss the issue and possibly schedule it for a vote.

Prior to the meeting, concerned citizens were being encouraged to call and/or email our state representatives in Raleigh and voice our concerns over the matter.

Well, we have good news. Unlike politicians and business interests in other states, ours have evidently been listening to the outcry against the contents of the original bill.

As the result of that outcry, the Tort Reform Committee decided to postpone Thursday’s meeting and to go back to the drawing board.

Information coming out of Raleigh on Wednesday indicated that all the parties involved in this have agreed to continue meeting in an effort to come up with a compromise that will be acceptable to all of the parties involved, something that is rather rare in these days of political bickering in many states.

Earlier this week word coming out of Raleigh was optimistic from all sides. According to a news release from PRNewswire fair and reasonable adjustments to the existing law for both employers and employees is within reach.

One of the parties working on this–the North Carolina Advocates for Justice–have termed the discussions as “fruitful.”

The NCAJ supports changes in the current law that give reasonable incentives for injured workers to return to work; protect those who are the most seriously injured; and retaining an approach to the law that is both fair and balanced.

If you contacted your state House and Senate reps earlier this week, you might want to consider contacting them again thanking them for their willingness to compromise.