New North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law Hides Data
With the economy struggling to rebound, every paycheck matters. Workers are reluctant to miss any time from work, because time away means less money. With workers pushed to do more because of smaller workforces, employees may pressure from their employers to be present, even when not well.
When an employee is injured on the job, they trust that their employers will take care of them. Many will be eligible to file for workers’ compensation, allowing them to receive some income while they are recovering from their injuries.
However, this might not be available in every situation. In the past, an employee could check to see if their employer offered workers’ compensation coverage. A new North Carolina bill has made that has restricted access to this information.
In North Carolina, there have been major issues concerning employers who have not purchased some type of workers’ compensation insurance. Because of this, the state wanted to investigate the issue to determine the extent of the problem. Often, these employers were not known until they were reported to the Industrial Commission, the organization that runs the North Carolina workers’ compensation program.
The recently signed bill makes all data submitted to the Industrial Commission private. This means that employees will no longer be able to look up their employers online to determine if they have workers’ compensation coverage.
Many have been critical of this law, because it makes it much more difficult for workers to understand the safety of their workplaces. If employees did have access to this information, it could factor into whether or not they want to remain at that particular workplace. If an accident happened, they may not have a way of receiving any workers’ compensation benefits.
Source: Charlotte News and Observer “Media wants veto on workers’ comp bill” June 28, 2012.