The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

June 2014 Archives

Study: injured workers sometimes scared of reporting injury

When a North Carolina worker is injured on the job, they may be able to collect workers' compensation benefits while they are recovering from their injury. The workers' compensation system is one through which injured employees can claim benefits without having to go to court against their employers. It protects workers and serves as their safety net when they are hurt on the job.

Labor commissioner rewards workplace safety in North Carolina

No matter what industry an employee is in, workers in North Carolina expect that certain steps will be made to protect their health and safety in the workplace. Their job is their livelihood, and if they suffer an injury in a work accident, their ability to maintain a job could be compromised. Workplace injuries could leave an employee in serious pain, cause them to endure medical issues and leave them with financial hardships. In these matters, workers' compensation could be greatly beneficial.

Reforms rolling out to protect miners from occupational disease

North Carolina workers may have heard of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration but may not be familiar with the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Tasked with monitoring mine safety, they try to prevent injuries and workplace disease resulting from mining. With much of the easy to reach coal in the country depleted, miners now have to cut into more rock to get to the remaining coal seams. This means there is potentially more exposure to toxic material that can cause lung diseases, including black lung.

NC General Assembly Removing Judicial Independence of Workers' Compensation Judges in the State

The State House budget bill today includes provisions that will remove all the existing Deputy Commissioners from their jobs within the next 18 months and replace them with political appointees who serve for the next eight years.  This is clearly an effort by the current legislature to appoint Deputies that fit a certain ideological profile and allow them to serve into the next Gubernatorial administration, without the next administration having any say in the matter.  This Bill also takes the Deputies out from under the State Personnel Act, which means that they will be "employees at will," serving at the pleasure of a political appointee.  That means that the Deputies will have no protections from being fired for making a decision that is unpopular with the appointing authority.  That is no way to run a court system!    The Bill is the House committee version of the budget bill, and can be viewed at this link.   The Industrial Commission gutting provisions appear on pages 147-48.   Here is the link:

Drink water and rest to avoid heat-related illnesses

Summer is here and as North Carolina residents rejoice in the shining sun and warmer temperatures, they may not notice the construction workers or landscaping workers hard at work in the blistering sun; they may not even know about the risk heat poses to these employees working in labor-intensive jobs.

Airline Employee at CLT Hurt on "Employee Bus" Wins Case

Airline employees stationed at CLT got a win today in the NC Court of Appeals. In an unpublished decision, Skoff v. USAirways (COA 13-994), the Court upheld an Industrial Commission decision awarding workers' comp benefits to a flight attendant who was hurt on the "employee bus" as it was transporting her to the employee parking lot.  The driver slammed on brakes and she fell from a standing position.  These buses are actually provided by the Airport but the airlines make them available to the airline employees by paying the bus fare to the City as part of the contract of employment.  Cases in which airline employees get hurt on the bus come up pretty often.  Now we have a Court of Appeals decision favorable to the employees under the "provision of transportation" theory.   In the future, it should be easier to get those claims covered for injured airline employees! 

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