Another bill currently under consideration by the N.C. Senate has put the rights of injured workers at risk. Senate Bill 112 strips Industrial Commission deputy commissioners of the protections of the State Personnel Act, meaning they could now be subject to termination as a result of political contributions to those in a position to influence their firing.
At the Industrial Commission, which handles all proceedings regarding workers’ compensation, deputy commissioners function as judges. They conduct evidentiary hearings in workers’ compensation and other cases that fall under the Industrial Commission’s jurisdiction. Their decisions are up for review by three members the Full Industrial Commission, who are political appointees. If deputy commissioners are not protected from politically motivated firings, they could allow their decisions to be based in their desire to keep their jobs rather than basing them on the law and the facts.
Additionally, injured workers’ claims could be at risk if an employer threatens to withhold political contributions.
For the protection of the injured worker, we urge you to contact your representatives and tell them this is a bad bill. Remind them that Industrial Commission decisions should not be based on political power plays but rather on doing what is right for the injured worker.
The primary sponsors of this bill are Brent Jackson, Andrew Brock, and Jim Davis.
Find out who your representative is here.