State audit says development is needed on workers’ compensation oversight

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act mandates companies in the state carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage unless their companies are classified as exempt. This law is important in the sense that an employee or a family member is assured of benefits if a worker gets injured or is killed on the job.

Furthermore, the law requires that any employer who has three or more employees working for him or her to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage at no cost to the employee. Despite these laws, a 2012 series of articles in The News & Observer of Raleigh showed around 30,000 companies in the state were operating without workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Regarding this matter, State Auditor Beth Wood said, “The fact in the commission’s response is that it does not know how many businesses do not carry workers’ compensation insurance and it will not know until it has the capacity to match and investigate all non-exempted businesses to businesses that carry workers’ compensation insurance.”

We recommend you consult the Raleigh employment lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC to ease the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits in the state. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team right away by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


North Carolina’s injury and illness rate falls to historic low

North Carolina’s workplace injury and illness rate has fallen to a historic low for private industry. In 2015, the state had about 2.6 cases per 100 full-time workers, which is a drop from 2.7 in 2014. North Carolina’s numbers remain below the national average.

North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said the state’s injury and illness rate declined by 51% (5.3 to 2.6) over the past 15 years. “The record-low injury and illness rate is a credit to the employers and employees of our state. Safety is being embraced by management as well as those on the front lines who are performing the state’s most dangerous work.”

The 2015 injury rate for the construction industry dropped to 2.7 per 100 full-time workers, down from 3.3 in 2014 and below the national rate of 3.5. For the manufacturing industry, the 2015 rate did not move, but it remained at 3.3, which is below the national rate of 3.8.

In the event of a workplace accident in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina, seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC by filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311 to get in touch with lawyers who can help your situation.


Medical payments per workers’ compensation claim stagnates in NC

There was little to no change in medical payments per workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina after 2009, an 18-state study conducted by the Workers Compensation Research Institute showed. The stagnation followed growth that averaged 6% to 7% per year from 2004 to 2009 at all claim maturities.

WCRI’s Executive Vice President Ramona Tanabe said the decrease is reflective of the 2013 interim changes in the state’s fee schedules. She noted “Hospital costs had been a key driver of medical payments per claim in North Carolina and prices paid to nonhospital providers were lower than typical. Administrative and legislative changes since 2013 addressed those issues.”

House Bill 92, which passed in 2013, mandated that reimbursement for all workers’ compensation medical care should have its basis in Medicare methodology. Proposed fee schedule rules were announced in November 2014 and were passed in February 2015. Phase-by-phase decreases for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers were implemented in April 2015, and changes in reimbursement for professional services took effect in July 2015.

Contact our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC when you need someone to provide legal services in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina. Call us at (919) 851-3311 if you need help with filing for a workers’ compensation benefit claim today.


Cook County to mandate employers to provide paid sick leave

On Wednesday, October 5, the Cook County Board of Commissioners put into law an ordinance that will mandate employers throughout Cook County, Illinois to give their employees paid sick leave. The county is adopting the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, which was passed by the city in June 2016 and which will go into effect the same day as the ordinance approved in Cook County: July 1, 2017.

According to the provisions of the ordinance, employees all over Cook County will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work for a company. Employees have the chance to obtain five days of paid sick leave per year, or more days, if their company decides to provide greater benefits.

Our lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas in North Carolina. We are the ones to turn to if you have problems regarding your workers’ compensation benefits if you were hurt in a workplace accident. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.


Jordan Russell to join Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced on Thursday, September 15 that Jordan Russell will fill a spot on the three-member Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. Russell is a lawyer who worked as policy director and counsel under Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Jeff Hickman,

Russell will serve as substitute for the remainder of Dr. LeRoy Young’s term. Young said during the third week of September that he will be relinquishing his post to spend more time practicing medicine. Russell’s appointment is up for confirmation by the state Senate when it resumes session in 2017.

The workers’ compensation system is extremely important in every state, as it determines ways to keep employees safe and capable of paying living expenses. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal assistance to people who need legal help when it comes to filing for workers’ compensation benefits in Raleigh or other areas of North Carolina. Speak with a qualified member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.