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:

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