Republicans File Workers’ Compensation Bill (HB 709)

Payback for corporate executives will cost injured workers big

The Workers’ Compensation bill we have all been expecting (and dreading) has arrived – HB 709.  You can read the bill here: http://ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H709v0.pdf.

House Bill 709 has many provisions, some very complicated, but these include provisions that:

  • Artificially cut off benefits after 500 weeks in most cases, regardless of whether the worker has any wage earning capacity;
  • Severely limit the ability of an injured employee to be treated or evaluated by any doctor except the doctor picked by the employer or the insurance company, and allow benefits to be cut off based upon a claim that the worker is not cooperating;
  • Require an injured worker to take almost any job, regardless of pay, or have benefits cut off;
  • Give insurance companies almost unfettered rights to examine a worker’s medical records and talk to the treating physician, all without the worker’s permission;
  • Reduces the size of the Industrial Commission by two, eliminating two of the more experienced Commissioners and requiring that future appointments be approved by the legislature.

Please call or email your Representative as soon as possible and ask him or her to oppose House Bill 709!

Contact your Representative today and urge him or her to, “oppose House Bill 709.” Tell your Representative that, “working families back home are counting on legislators to protect our stable workers compensation system and make protecting injured workers–not corporate profits and insurance companies–a priority.”

Click here to look up your elected state Representative online. Call the capital switchboard at 919-733-7928 and ask to be connected to his or her office. When you call, be polite. If no one answers, leave a message. Be sure to include your name, phone number, the city or town where you live, and ask for a response.

The Workers’ Comp bill / HB 709 is an attack on workers’ rights.  HB 709 is an effort to shift a cost rightly born by the employers of injured workers onto taxpayers.  HB 709 is an affront to widely held notions of patient-doctor confidentiality.  HB 709 is an effort to rig the system against injured workers and their families in order to protect corporate profits and insurance companies.  HB 709 is payback to corporate executives and the N.C. Chamber of Commerce for their substantial investments in the 2010 election.

Click here to read our Legislative Alert on Workers’ Comp Bill / HB 709. Please take a moment to read the alert and contact your State Representative.