RALEIGH, N.C., May 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Though there is no formal agreement, all sides in North Carolina's ongoing negotiations over workers' compensation reform today expressed optimism in a fair outcome, according to the NC Advocates for Justice.
More than one hundred people crowded into a meeting of the NC Select Committee on Tort Reform to hear from speakers on HB 709, commonly referred to as the Workers' Compensation Reform Bill. Taking turns at the podium were Rep. Dale Folwell, Dick Taylor of the NCAJ, Bobby Crumley of the North Carolina Republican Attorneys Association and John McAllister with the NC Chamber of Commerce.
In his opening remarks, Rep. Folwell described a 13-hour "marathon" meeting with interested parties to work through HB 709. Taylor hailed Rep. Folwell for his "courtesy, cooperation and openness."
In North Carolina, the Workers' Compensation Act provides that in most circumstances, an injured worker cannot sue his or her employer. Workers' comp provides the only legal remedy. More than one thousand injured workers have visited the General Assembly urging lawmakers to support a fair and balanced system.
NCAJ supports changes to the existing law that:
· Incentivize people to return to suitable employment;
· Protect the most seriously injured workers at a cost reasonable for business; and
· Retain a balanced and fair approach.
"We all want a system that is fair for employees at a cost reasonable to employers," said Taylor. McAllister with the NC Chamber added in his remarks, "This is one of the rare occasions when Dick Taylor and I will stand up and essentially say the same thing."
Summing up the general mood, Bobby Crumley, attorney and president of the NC Republican Attorneys Association, noted, "There is good faith on all sides."
SOURCE NC Advocates for Justice