Workers compensation insurance and GOP hypocrisy

In response to the news that thousands of NC businesses are not complying with workers comp insurance requirement:

House Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell, a Winston-Salem Republican, said the investigation illuminates a need for more reform of the workers comp system and pledged to call together people stakeholders to talk about possible solutions.

The only solutions you're interested in involve screwing workers even more than you did the last time:

In June, North Carolina amended its Workers' Compensation Act. The original bill was a business initiative, but the new law is a compromise among all participants in the workers' compensation system. While there is a little something for everyone, several provisions should be beneficial to employers:

The new law allows employers to obtain relevant medical records without the express authorization of the employee.

The term "suitable employment" can be key to the value of many workers' compensation claims, because an employee who is offered, and refuses to accept, such employment can lose benefits. The new law adds a definition of "suitable employment" for all claims filed after the law's enactment. Before the employee reaches maximum medical improvement ("MMI"), the term includes rehabilitative or other noncompetitive employment, i.e., a job that does not exist in the labor market. After MMI, "suitable employment" means any job the employee is capable of performing considering his limitations, vocational skills, education, and experience and that is located within a 50-mile radius of his residence. The new job can carry a lower wage rate and still be deemed suitable.

That last part is especially sweet, isn't it? You can cut an injured employee's wage, and transfer them to another facility with a 100 mile round-trip per-day gasoline expense, and if they refuse the job their workers comp benefits can be taken away. With friends like that...

Republicans don't give a crap about businesses not complying with WC insurance compliance, but when it comes to you and me, well:

AN ACT TO allow law enforcement agencies and officers to USE ADVANCED electronic verification TECHNOLOGY to IDENTIFY MOTOR VEHICLES being OPERATed ON THE PUBLIC streets and HIGHWAYS and public vehicular areas WITHOUT the required FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Liability. – The registered owner of a vehicle cited for a financial responsibility violation detected by an electronic verification system shall be responsible for any penalty imposed under this section unless, within 30 days of service of the notification of violation, the owner provides to the Division of Motor Vehicles a sworn affidavit containing the information listed in one of the subdivisions of this subsection. If the registered owner fails to pay the civil penalty or fails to respond to the notice within 30 days of service of the violation of notification, the owner waives the right to contest responsibility for the violation, is subject to the civil penalty of three hundred dollars ($300.00), and shall have the registered owner's drivers license and registration revoked indefinitely until the civil penalty is paid and proof of financial responsibility is provided to the Division.


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Chris Harris
Workmans comp premium audit