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Saving Workers’ Compensation Reforms from Decimation

Courtesy of a recent North Carolina Supreme Court ruling, the workers’ compensation reforms achieved in 2011 are on the verge of total decimation. In a major blow to North Carolina’s business community, the state Supreme Court unraveled the balanced reforms with the most dramatic changes to workers’ compensation since the 1980’s. The consequences of this decision are steep as it will create a system hindered by gridlock and force costs to skyrocket. Under this decision, the State of North Carolina’s insurance fund alone will have to pay more than $20 million per year. Imagine what that price tag looks like for your business.

Through hard fought advocacy efforts, the workers’ compensation reforms established in 2011 restored balance in a no-fault system, made sure workers received timely access to benefits, and drove costs down – benefitting both the injured and their employers. Unfortunately, the state Supreme Court’s ruling expands liability and obliterates those changes, turning the negotiated workers’ compensation reform on its head.

Since the institution of workers’ compensation reform, employer costs have dropped year after year– this year by an average 14.4 percent. Sadly, this decision will have crippling repercussions as those reforms are undone. In order to continue attracting new and expanded investment from job creators, it is critical that North Carolina keeps its no-fault workers’ compensation system. Our dedicated team is already fighting to secure a legislative fix to this ruling and will not stop until one is achieved. North Carolina’s business community is stronger as a collective, which is why I ask that you join this coalition of organizations and companies strongly urging the General Assembly to correct the decision swiftly. To join the fight, please contact Jake Cashion, director of governmental affairs. As always, we will continue to update you on this critical competitiveness issue.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber