April 12, 2011
Comp bills now filed in House AND SENATE
UPDATE: Late last week, Republicans in the State Senate filed a bill in their own chamber to change North Carolina’s stable and important Workers’ Compensation system. The Senate bill is SB 544. Click here for the updated Legislative Alert (PDF).
The Workers’ Compensation bills we have all been expecting (and dreading) have arrived – HB 709 AND SB 544. You can read HB 709 here: http://ncleg.net/Sessions/2011/Bills/House/PDF/H709v0.pdf and SB 544 here: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2011/Bills/Senate/PDF/S544v0.pdf.
House Bill 709 and Senate Bill 544 have 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 and Senator as soon as possible and ask him or her to oppose House Bill 709 and Senate Bill 544!
Contact your lawmakers today and urge him or her to, “oppose House Bill 709 and Senate Bill 544.” Tell your Representative and Senator 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 lawmakers 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 bills / HB 709 & SB 544 are an attack on workers’ rights.
- HB 709 & SB 544 are an effort to shift a cost rightly born by the employers of injured workers onto taxpayers.
- HB 709 & SB 544 are an affront to widely held notions of patient-doctor confidentiality.
- HB 709 & SB 544 are an effort to rig the system against injured workers and their families in order to protect corporate profits and insurance companies.
- HB 709 & SB 544 are 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 / SB 544. Please take a moment to read the alert and contact your State Representative and Senator.