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Workers' Compensation Reform Archives

Senate Bill 614 Affects Rights of Truck Drivers in NC

NC Senate Bill 614, filed April 4, 2013, would affect the ability of truck drivers injured at work to obtain workers' compensation benefits.  The Bill would make it much harder for drivers to prove that they are "employees" rather than "independent contractors."   Employees are covered by workers' compensation but independent contractors generally are not covered.  This bill appears to be an effort to reduce trucking company costs by minimizing their responsibilities to their drivers.  The Bill tries to shift the responsibility to an "occupational accident insurance policy" that the driver may have to pay for himself.  This Bill is sponsored by two Republican Senators, Harry Brown of Jacksonville and Brent Jackson of Autryville.  Here is a link to the Bill:   http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/HTML/S614v1.html         

NC Legislature Will Reverse its Decision to Hide Insurance Coverage Information

It looks like the Legislature has reconsidered and will reverse its earlier decision to hide insurance coverage information from the public.  

Reform Issues: Oklahoma and "Opt-Out"

I have linked this post to an enlightening paper by the former Secretary of State of Oklahoma, Bob Burke, explaining why "opt-out" is bad for almost all of the stakeholders in a workers' compensation system.  Mr. Burke explains why small and medium businesses would be hurt by it, doctors and other medical providers would be harmed, and injured workers would be hurt by it as well. 

Reducing Medical Costs in Workers' Compensation Cases

Here is an interesting column by Karen Garloch of the Charlotte Observer about reducing medical treatment costs in general, but especially in back pain cases.  One of the most common things we see in the workers' comp world is a back injury, especially in the lumbar or lower back.  This column discusses the efficacy of MRI scans and of conservative treatment for back pain related to disk degeneration.   Prominent local spine surgeon Craig Brigham is quoted as well. 

Will Governor McCrory support extreme Workers' Compensation changes?

Pat McCrory of Charlotte was elected NC Governor last week, and one question as we transition to his administration is this:  What will be done to the NC Workers' Compensation Act during his tenure?  

NC "business climate" ranks highest in the USA for 2012

Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory has been criticizing the administration of Governor Perdue and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, and claiming that McCrory, as Governor, will improve NC for businesses.  But it looks like NC has done just fine under the Democratic Governor in that arena.  Check out this article from the Triangle Business Journal: 

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