NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION

Help Line: (800) 688-8349, (919) 716-1700, or infospec@ic.nc.gov
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Welcome to the North Carolina Industrial Commission!

The Industrial Commission administers the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Tort Claims Act, the Childhood Vaccine-Related Injury Act, the Public Safety Employees' Death Benefits Act, the Act to Compensate Individuals Erroneously Convicted of Felonies, and the Eugenics Compensation Program. Our mission is to ensure all parties are treated fairly and equally in accordance with North Carolina State Law.

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Webinar on Deputy Commissioner Webex Hearings:
Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The Industrial Commission’s Deputy Commissioner Kevin V. Howell will be presenting practical tips and considerations for Deputy Commissioner Webex hearings at a free webinar open to all on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The webinar will take place via Zoom, and pre-registration for the event is required. While registration is being facilitated by the Workers’ Compensation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, you do not have to be a member of the Bar Association to register for the webinar and there is no cost for registration. To register, click here.

Following Deputy Commissioner Howell’s presentation, participants will be able to ask him questions about Webex hearings during a live Q&A.
 

Tiffany Mack Smith Appointed to Serve as Deputy Commissioner

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Tiffany Mack Smith as a Deputy Commissioner. Ms. Smith began practicing law in 2011 and has focused her practice primarily in the areas of workers’ compensation and social security disability, most recently at the law firm of Wallace & Graham in Salisbury, NC. Previously, she practiced at the law firm of Ferguson Chambers & Sumter in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Smith earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude and was the Executive Editor of the North Carolina Central Law Review. Ms. Smith will be hearing cases assigned to the Charlotte Regional Office.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this meeting will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the meeting notice and agenda.
 

In Memoriam: Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Wade Goodwin

The Industrial Commission mourns the loss of our beloved colleague and friend Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Wade Goodwin. Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin served the Commission since 2011, first as a Deputy Commissioner and then as Chief Deputy Commissioner. Prior to joining the Commission, she served in the North Carolina House of Representatives where she represented the people of Richmond and Montgomery Counties for three terms.

Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin earned her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law. After completing her undergraduate studies and before law school, she worked with the North Carolina Council for Women as an advocate for women and families. Upon graduating from law school, Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin opened a law practice focusing on family law.

The Industrial Commission is grateful to Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin for the many contributions she made to the Commission and for her dedicated service to the citizens of North Carolina.
 

25th Annual N.C. Workers' Compensation Virtual Educational Conference
Will Be Held on Tuesday-Friday, October 13-16, 2020

Registration is now open for the 25th Annual North Carolina Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, which will be held this year as a purely virtual event on Tuesday-Friday, October 13-16, 2020. This conference is presented by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, in association with the International Workers' Compensation Foundation.

This year’s agenda includes a discussion of the 2011 legislative changes and extended compensation claims under G.S. 97-29(c), as well as several presentations specifically related to the pandemic (including suitable employment and return-to-work issues in 2020, work-related injuries and telecommuting, and COVID-19 compensability). A demonstration of the Commission’s new case management system will also be offered.

This year’s conference includes a virtual exhibit hall that attendees can visit during program breaks.

The conference provides valuable information of particular importance for employers, insurance adjusters, self-insurers, third-party administrators, safety and human resource managers, plaintiff and defense attorneys, health care providers, mediators, medical and rehabilitation providers, and anyone with a professional interest in the North Carolina workers' compensation system. Application is pending for continuing education credits for attorneys (CLE); paralegals (CPE); carriers (CE credit); human resources professionals (SHRM); and rehabilitation providers (CEU for CRC, CDMS, and CCM). COHNs, CRRNs, and any other discipline will be provided, upon request, with a certificate of completion for credit submission.

For additional details and to register with payment by check, download the conference brochure by clicking here:

To register online and pay by credit card, click here:

For more information on the conference, please contact Jeanne Bush or Eric Oxfeld at the International Workers' Compensation Foundation office by telephone at (386) 677-0041, fax at (386) 677-0155, or e-mail at IWCF@bellsouth.net.
 

Temporary Mediation Rule (11 NCAC 23G .0104) Approved by Rules Review Commission

On August 20, 2020, the Rules Review Commission approved the temporary mediation rule that was adopted by the Industrial Commission on August 6, 2020, with technical corrections. Please click here to view the approved temporary mediation rule, which will go into effect on August 28, 2020.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this meeting will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the meeting notice and agenda.
 

COVID-19 Response: Revised Industrial Commission In-Person Deputy Commissioner Hearing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation and Tort Claims

In response to Chief Justice Beasley’s July 16, 2020 Order and Emergency Directive 21 related to face coverings in courthouses, the Industrial Commission has revised its in-person hearing guidelines. A summary of the current guidelines can be found here:
Guidelines for In-Person Hearings.
 

COVID-19 Response: Summary of Industrial Commission In-Person Deputy Commissioner Hearing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation and Tort Claims

The Industrial Commission is holding in-person hearings in limited cases when ordered by the presiding Deputy Commissioner. A summary of the guidelines for Deputy Commissioner hearings held in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here:
Guidelines for In-Person Hearings.
 

COVID-19 Response: August 2020 Deputy Commissioner Docket Update

Deputy Commissioners will set cases continued from the June 2020 docket in August 2020 as part of the Commission’s efforts to avoid any backlog and efficiently handle the cases that were continued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Commissioners will also attempt to set continuances from the July 2020 docket in August 2020. The cases previously listed on the August 2020 Final Master Trial Docket will be assigned to a later docket.
 

June 8, 2020 Update: Industrial Commission Mediation Policies as of June 16, 2020

The Industrial Commission has adopted an emergency amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104, which has been approved by the Codifier of Rules and which is effective as of June 16, 2020. A copy of the emergency rule amendment can be found here:
11 NCAC 23G .0104- Emergency Rule Amendment Eff. 6-16-20.

Under this emergency rule amendment, all Industrial Commission mediations shall be conducted remotely, unless all parties and persons required to attend the mediation, including the mediator, agree to conduct the mediation in person, or unless the Industrial Commission orders that the mediation shall be conducted in person following a motion filed with John Schafer, the Dispute Resolution Coordinator, pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104(b) and Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0111.

This emergency rule amendment was adopted by the Industrial Commission after the North Carolina Supreme Court entered an Order on June 3, 2020 amending Rule 4(a)(2) of the Rules for Mediated Settlement Conferences and Other Settlement Procedures in Superior Court Civil Actions, making attendance via remote technology the default method of attendance in Superior Court case mediations. Pursuant to G.S. §97-80(c), the Industrial Commission’s mediation rules must be substantially similar to the mediation rules approved by the Supreme Court for use in the Superior Court division. The amendment satisfies the statutory requirement.

The emergency rule amendment will proceed through both temporary and permanent rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act over the course of the next 6-9 months.
 

Notice of Proposed Temporary Rulemaking and Public Hearing- Proposed Amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104

The Industrial Commission has proposed temporary rulemaking to adopt an amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104.

A copy of the text of the proposed temporary rule amendment can be found here:
11 NCAC 23G .0104- Proposed Temporary Rule Amendment.

WRITTEN COMMENTS

The Industrial Commission will accept written comments on the proposed temporary rule amendment from June 15, 2020 through July 8, 2020. Written comments may be sent to Gina Cammarano, Rulemaking Coordinator, via email at gina.cammarano@ic.nc.gov or via U.S. mail at 1240 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1240. Please note that emailing your written comments to Gina Cammarano is the preferred method at this time due to Industrial Commission staff working remotely, to the greatest extent possible, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PUBLIC HEARING

The Industrial Commission will hold a public hearing on this proposed temporary rule amendment on Thursday June 25, 2020 at 2 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is: 1-888-363-4735. The access code is: 4465746.
 

May 30, 2020 Update: Industrial Commission Mediation Policies as of June 1, 2020

Consistent with current directives and recommendations as detailed below, as of June 1, 2020, mediations in Industrial Commission cases may be conducted either in-person or remotely by consent, though mediators have been advised by the Dispute Resolution Commission that mediations shall, to the fullest extent possible, be conducted remotely.

In Industrial Commission cases where all parties have not consented to a remote mediation, any party may have the physical attendance requirement excused or modified by order of the Commission, pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104(b). The party seeking to have the physical attendance requirement excused or modified should file a motion pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104(b) and Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0111 and should address the motion to the Commission’s Dispute Resolution Coordinator, John Schafer.
 

Current Directives and Recommendations

Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order directed that all superior and district court proceedings be scheduled or rescheduled for a date no sooner than June 1, 2020, unless the proceeding is conducted remotely or unless another exception applies. The Dispute Resolution Commission thereafter advised that through May 31, 2020, mediations may be conducted remotely by consent; otherwise, the mediation should be scheduled or rescheduled for on or after June 1, 2020.

On May 14, 2020, the Dispute Resolution Commission transmitted a memo to all certified mediators concerning the safety of mediators and other participants and the recommended procedures to follow as of June 1, 2020. The memo advised that as of June 1, 2020, mediations may be conducted in-person or remotely by consent. The memo further stated, “Mediations shall, to the fullest extent possible, be conducted remotely via video or teleconference.” Additionally, the memo stated, “Any mediation conducted in person shall be done in strict compliance with all executive orders and social distancing requirements. All parties to the mediation shall use appropriate social distancing practices and safety procedures.”
 

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical-Motion Hearings) to Resume in June 2020 via Webex

The Commission is pleased to announce that Deputy Commissioners will resume hearing all types of workers’ compensation cases in June 2020 through the use of Webex technology. This policy is consistent with Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s May 21, 2020 Order directing judicial officials to “make use of remote hearing technology to the greatest extent possible to limit in-person appearances” and will help prevent a future backlog of Deputy Commissioner cases.

June 2020 Docket

For cases on the June 2020 docket where both parties are represented, the parties may jointly request a Webex hearing by emailing the presiding Deputy Commissioner, and the Deputy Commissioner will make every effort to proceed with the Webex hearing in June. If the Deputy Commissioner is unable to hold the Webex hearing in June, the case will be set for a Webex hearing in July or as soon as possible thereafter.

Any case scheduled for June that is not heard via Webex will be continued to be reset on a future docket. A Continuance Order will not be filed in each case, but the parties will be notified via email or U.S. mail (if email is not available) that the case has been continued. There will be no in-person hearings held in June unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.

Note: The above applies to regular workers’ compensation hearings and NOT medical motion hearings arising under G.S. §97-25(f). For information regarding medical motion hearings, please see the prior announcement.

July 2020 and Future Dockets

Beginning in July of 2020 and continuing until further notice, the Commission plans to docket all Deputy Commissioner hearings as Webex hearings. If a party believes that a hearing should be held in-person while the State court system is under COVID-19 emergency directives, the party may file a motion for an in-person hearing with the presiding Deputy Commissioner. The moving party must show good cause as to why an in-person hearing should be allowed in light of the emergency directive to “make use of remote hearing technology to the greatest extent possible to limit in-person appearances.”

If a party believes that a case is neither appropriate for a Webex hearing nor appropriate to be heard in-person at the present time, the party may file a motion to temporarily remove the case from the hearing docket with the presiding Deputy Commissioner. Consistent with existing Commission procedure, if the motion is granted, the case will be removed for an indefinite period of time, and it will not be necessary to file a new Form 33 to return the case to the hearing docket. Upon notification to the Clerk’s Office by the party requesting the temporary removal, the case will be set on the next available hearing docket.

Webex Hearing Requirements

The Commission will need an email address and phone number for each person who will participate in the Webex hearing, including each witness who may be called to testify at the hearing. Each Webex hearing participant will be sent a Webex hearing invitation via email. The Webex hearing can be joined by clicking on a link in the email.

The only technological requirements for participation in a Webex hearing are an email address, a computer or other device (such as a tablet or smart phone) equipped with a camera, and an internet connection. A free Webex application is available to install on computers and other devices. The Webex application is not required to participate in the Webex hearing from a laptop or other computer, however the application is required when using a mobile device (such as an iPad or other tablet or an iPhone or other smartphone).

Hearing participants planning to join a Webex hearing from a desktop should confirm that the desktop is equipped with a camera. If the desktop does not have a built-in camera, a webcam can be attached to the desktop. Webcams are available for purchase online and at electronics stores.

Hearing participants experiencing poor audio quality (or who have no microphone on their computer or other device) may establish an audio connection using a mobile phone or land line. Note: Regardless of how a participant connects for purposes of audio, the participant must appear by video, and therefore a computer or other device equipped with a camera is required.
 

Policies as of June 1, 2020 for Full Commission Hearings, Deputy Commissioner Medical Motion Hearings, and Executive Secretary’s Office Informal Hearings

Full Commission Hearings

Full Commission oral arguments scheduled in June 2020 will be conducted by teleconference. The Full Commission panel chair will provide the parties with a toll-free number and access code to dial into the conference call.

Deputy Commissioner Medical Motion Hearings

Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f) will be conducted in June 2020 with all parties appearing by teleconference, unless the Deputy Commissioner advises that the hearing will be conducted via Webex videoconference (details regarding Webex hearings will be provided in the near future). Based upon the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits, the presiding Deputy Commissioner may excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.

Executive Secretary’s Office Informal Hearings

Consistent with normal operating procedures, the Executive Secretary’s Office will conduct informal hearings by teleconference.
 

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings) and Mediation: Policies as of June 1, 2020 will be Announced Shortly

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings)

On May 21, 2020, Chief Justice Beasley directed judicial officials to “make use of remote hearing technology to the greatest extent possible to limit in-person appearances.” In light of this Order, the Commission is developing hearing polices for June 2020 and future months that will be announced shortly.

Mediation

The Dispute Resolution Commission is meeting on Thursday May 28, 2020, regarding remote attendance at mediation conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission will adopt mediation policies that are consistent with the policies of the Dispute Resolution Commission.
 

COVID-19 FILING REQUIREMENTS: EDFP, EDI, AND ALL OTHER RULE 108 FILING REQUIREMENTS REMAIN IN EFFECT

For the Commission to efficiently process forms and other filings while working remotely, it is essential that all filers comply with Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0108 when filing forms and other documents.

Represented parties and Insurance Carriers/TPAs/Self-Insured Employers are required to file forms and documents electronically via EDFP, with the following limited exceptions:

  1. A Form 19 (in which case you are required to file the Form 19 via EDI, unless an exception listed in Paragraph (d) applies);
  2. A form or document listed in Table 1 of 11 NCAC 23A .0108; or
  3. A Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Click here for more information and guidance on the rule requirements.
 

COVID-19 Response: Written Affirmation Without Notarization Allowed

In order to protect public health and safety by encouraging social distancing, and in light of Emergency Directive 5 contained in Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order, the Industrial Commission has adopted the following policy, effective immediately and continuing until further notice:

When it is required that any pleading, motion, petition, supporting affidavit, or other document of any kind to be filed at the Industrial Commission be verified, or that an oath be taken, it shall be sufficient if the subscriber affirms the truth of the matter to be verified by an affirmation or representation in substantially the following language: “I(we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is(are) true. (Signed)_____________________.”
 

COVID-19 Update: Parties Must Appear Remotely for Mediations Conducted Prior to June 1, 2020

Consistent with Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order, all mediations held in Industrial Commission cases prior to June 1, 2020 shall be conducted with all parties appearing remotely or, in the alternative, be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020. If all parties do not consent to appear remotely, then the mediation must be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020.
 

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Hearing Policies Through May 31, 2020

In order to protect public health and safety, and in light of Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order requiring local courts to schedule or reschedule most cases in district and superior court for a date no sooner than June 1, 2020, the Industrial Commission has instituted the following policies, effective immediately and continuing through May 31, 2020.

Full Commission Hearings

All Full Commission oral arguments will be conducted by conference call. The Full Commission panel chair will provide the parties with a toll-free number and access code to dial into the conference call. All oral arguments that are normally recorded will continue to be recorded by a court reporter.

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings)

All Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in April or May of 2020 will be continued to be reset on a future docket, with the exception of hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f) or unless the parties are notified otherwise.

Deputy Commissioner Hearings on Medical Motions

Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), which are statutorily required to be held within 30 days of the filing of the motion or appeal, will not be continued. Through the end of May 2020, these hearings will be conducted with all parties appearing remotely. The Deputy Commissioner before whom the hearing is scheduled may excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case, based on the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.

Executive Secretary Hearings

Consistent with existing procedure, all informal telephonic hearings conducted by the Executive Secretary’s Office will be by conference call.
 

COVID-19 Policy Update Regarding Electronic Signatures

In response to feedback from stakeholders, the Industrial Commission is now accepting all agreements that have been signed by one or more parties via DocuSign or a similar vendor that provides a graphic image of a signature placed on a document using secure software that verifies the identity of the user.
 

Industrial Commission Request to Attorneys Working Remotely

The Executive Secretary’s Office has been receiving a high volume of phone calls from legal assistants inquiring about the status of orders in cases where the orders already have been emailed to the attorneys. The Commission requests that attorneys working remotely please advise their assistants when orders are received. In the alternative, the Commission will transmit orders to both the attorney and the legal assistant if both email addresses are provided on the proposed order.
 

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Secure Leave Policy

The Industrial Commission recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic will result in attorneys having to reschedule vacations, non-emergency medical procedures, and other plans for which secure leave was obtained. The rescheduled plans may then fall within the same calendar year for which three weeks of secure leave already has been granted and/or may not be known until less than 90 days before the requested secure leave period. Any attorney faced with this situation may file a motion under 11 NCAC 23E .0301 (Waiver of Rules) asking for a waiver or variance of the requirements or provisions of 11 NCAC 23E .0104 (Secure Leave Period for Attorneys). This motion should be filed in conjunction with the new secure leave written request.
 

Industrial Commission Accepting Agreements Signed Via DocuSign

The Industrial Commission has received inquiries about allowing employees to sign agreements via DocuSign in order to encourage social distancing. Because DocuSign is widely used in the North Carolina legal community for agreements and other transactions, the Industrial Commission is accepting all agreements that have been signed by one or more parties via DocuSign. This includes, but is not limited to, Compromise Settlement Agreements, Form 26As and other Form agreements, and Consent Agreements. An employee himself or herself must sign via DocuSign; an employee’s attorney cannot sign via DocuSign on behalf of an employee.
 

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Filing Deadline Policy

The Industrial Commission has received some inquiries from attorneys regarding its current filing deadline policy. At this time, the Commission has not granted an automatic, blanket extension of filing deadlines for the following reasons:

  1. Parties may utilize the Industrial Commission’s Electronic Document Filing Portal (“EDFP”) to electronically file forms, responses, briefs, contentions, proposed opinions and awards/decisions and orders, proposed orders, and all other filings or documents to which a filing deadline applies. (Any attorney who is not registered to utilize EDFP but wishes to do so can find EDFP Registration Instructions by clicking here: www.ic.nc.gov/EDFPregistrationinstructions.pdf
  2. The Industrial Commission continues to allow pro se plaintiffs and pro se non-insured employers to file all documents by facsimile, U.S. Mail, private courier service, or hand delivery; and
  3. Any party wishing to obtain an extension of a filing deadline for a reason related to COVID-19, or otherwise for good cause, may file a motion for an extension of time as allowed by applicable rules and statutes.

COVID-19 Response: Telehealth Coverage and Billing

The Industrial Commission has received several inquiries from health care providers regarding telehealth visits in lieu of in-person office visits, in light of health and safety concerns about COVID-19 transmission raised by nurse case managers, injured employees, and the health care providers. Please click here for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the telehealth visits.
 

COVID-19 Response: Medical Motion Hearings To Be Conducted Remotely

Effective March 23, 2020, and continuing through the end of April 2020, the Commission’s COVID-19 procedure for medical motion hearings arising under G.S. §97-25(f) is amended as follows:

All medical motion hearings before Deputy Commissioners shall be conducted with the parties appearing remotely. The presiding Deputy Commissioner will provide the parties a toll-free number and access code to dial into the remote hearing. Consistent with existing procedure, hearing testimony will be recorded by a court reporter.

Upon approval by the Deputy Commissioner, the parties will not be required to appear remotely if they stipulate that no lay witness testimony is necessary or agree to take any needed lay witness testimony by deposition. In such cases, the parties shall submit a Pre-Trial Agreement and a set of stipulated exhibits, and then proceed to take medical depositions.

Parties are strongly encouraged to explore options to avoid the necessity of appearing remotely by stipulating to facts in the Pre-Trial Agreement and/or by agreeing to take any needed lay witness testimony by deposition.
 

How to Contact the Claims Section and Information Specialists During COVID-19 State of Emergency

Claims Section

If you need to reach a member of the Claims Section, please call 919-716-1700 and follow the prompts for the Claims Section. You may also email your inquiry to claimsadm@ic.nc.gov.

Information Specialists

If you need to reach an Information Specialist, please call 919-716-1700 or 800-688-8349 and follow the prompt for the Information Specialist Section. You may also email your inquiry to infospec@ic.nc.gov.
 

COVID-19 Mediation Policy Revision: Parties Must Appear Remotely for Mediations Conducted Prior to April 13, 2020

Consistent with Chief Justice Beasley’s emergency directive and in light of new guidance from the NC Dispute Resolution Commission, all mediations held in Industrial Commission cases prior to April 13, 2020 shall be conducted with all parties appearing remotely or, in the alternative, be rescheduled for a date on or after April 13, 2020. If all parties do not consent to appear remotely, then the mediation must be rescheduled for a date on or after April 13, 2020.
 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response: Industrial Commission Mediation Policy

Effective immediately and continuing until further notice, the Industrial Commission will liberally grant the following types of motions:

  1. Motions for an extension of time to complete a mediation to allow all mediation participants to safely appear in person at the mediation; and
  2. Motions to allow one or more parties to participate in a mediation via telephone or video conference.
IC Staff Working Remotely; Email Communication Encouraged

In light of Governor Cooper’s March 10, 2020 State of Emergency declaration regarding COVID-19 and consistent with guidance issued by the NC Department of Human Resources, the Industrial Commission is encouraging its staff to work remotely to the greatest extent possible. The Commission remains open for business but encourages you to contact Commission staff by email instead of by phone. Commission employees working remotely have easy and quick access to their email inbox on their laptops and other devices. By contrast, they do not have real time access to office phone calls when working remotely, and their voicemail messages are not forwarded to their personal phones. Email addresses can be found by going under the “Sections” tab on the Commission’s Home Page and clicking on the appropriate section of the Commission. The Commission is committed to continuing to serve you during this challenging time and appreciates your understanding and assistance.
 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response: Industrial Commission Hearing Policies

In order to protect public health and safety, and in light of Chief Justice Beasley’s March 13, 2020 Order requiring local courts to postpone most cases in district and superior court for at least 30 days, the Industrial Commission has instituted the following policies for hearings, effective immediately and continuing until further notice. These policies apply to all hearings that are scheduled to take place on or after Monday, March 16, 2020:

Deputy Commissioner Hearings

With the exception of hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), all Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in March or April of 2020 will be continued to be reset on the next available docket, unless the parties are notified otherwise. Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), which are statutorily required to be held within 30 days of the filing of the motion or appeal, will not be continued. The Deputy Commissioner before whom the hearing is scheduled may, however, excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case, based on the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.

Full Commission Hearings

All Full Commission oral arguments will be conducted by conference call. The Full Commission panel chair will provide the parties with a toll-free number and access code to dial into the conference call. Consistent with existing procedure, all oral arguments will continue to be recorded by a court reporter, with the exception of medical motion oral arguments made pursuant to 11 NCAC 23A .0609A(h).

Executive Secretary Hearings

Consistent with existing procedure, all informal telephonic hearings conducted by the Executive Secretary’s Office will be by conference call.
 

Are you required to have Workers' Compensation Insurance?

For information on insurance requirements for businesses and employers:
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Does your employer have Workers' Compensation Insurance?

For information on insurance coverage of an employer in the State of North Carolina:
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