North Carolina Lawmakers Consider Workers’ Compensation Caps
Posted on May 10, 2011
Now that the North Carolina House and Senate are controlled by republicans for the fist time in a number of years, state businesses are once again attempting to pass new workers’ compensation laws that would help companies save money and most likely harm the rights of injured workers.
The most controversial change would be a cap on how long a worker could collect workers’ comp benefits after an accident and injury. The cap would be for 500 weeks and would not include workers with severe and permanent disabilities, such as paralysis or blindness.
Those who want NC workers’ compensation reform say that the current laws encourage workers to stay home after injuries and point out that North Carolina’s costs per claim are above the national average. In addition, they believe that having workers’ comp law favor businesses would attract more companies to the state.
Those against the changes say that the other side is using doctored numbers, and that letting businesses save money on workers’ comp would shift worker injury costs to taxpayers. They also say that capping the length of time that workers can receive benefits doesn’t make any sense – that a worker should receive benefits as long as they are unable to work due to an injury.
Currently lawmakers are debating the new changes, and everyone hopes that a fair compromise will result.