Compensation Conversations

Compensation Conversations is a blog from Anders Newton aimed to help employers and carriers across North Carolina stay updated on workers’ compensation developments. You will find quick legal tips and practice summaries to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of workers' compensation law.

When Laws Conflict: North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act v. A New FLSA Rule

Among the final acts of the Trump administration was the promulgation, on September 25, 2020, of a new proposed rule regarding classification of workers and independent contractors. The Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor entitled the rule Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. While many states including…

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Court of Appeals Awards Employer Hefty Credit for Overpaid Benefits

Feeling discouraged about paying weekly workers’ compensation benefits when you believe the claimant is no longer disabled? Don’t despair – if you are willing to fight, you may just be awarded a credit. These days, accepting a workers’ compensation claim as compensable by Form 60 is risky business. Employers and insurers often find it very…

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A Stab in the Dark: Predicting the Pandemic’s Effect on Workers’ Compensation

Experts trying to predict how this COVID-19 pandemic is affecting and will affect the workers’ compensation world are in complete disagreement. Some say that with the tremendous decrease in people working, there should be a corresponding decrease in on-the-job injuries. After all, they say, when people are not working, they don’t get injured. Others take…

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NC Workers’ Compensation Developments

In Sympathy: Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Goodwin The entire North Carolina workers’ compensation community is saddened to hear of the passing of Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Wade Goodwin, age 50. The Late Chief Deputy Commissioner Goodwin earned a reputation as a bright, thoughtful, and hard-working public servant. Prior to serving at the Industrial Commission, she…

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Insurance Adjuster Loses Workers’ Compensation Stress Claim

Think your job as an insurance adjuster is stressful? So did the claimant in Day v. Travelers (COA19-704, Aug. 4, 2020, unpublished), when she filed an occupational disease claim for anxiety and depression. However, like many claimants before her, Ms. Day learned the hard way that work creates stress for everyone, not just for insurance…

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A Scandalous Proposal: Using Empathy to End Groundless Workers’ Compensation Claims

Ever wonder why so many workers are intent on pursuing worthless claims? And why those workers sometimes receive money for “nuisance value?” You are not alone. The abuse of and over-reliance on the workers’ compensation system is no secret. The problem is so pervasive that insurance companies and administrators developed strategies to address fraudulent claims…everything…

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Anders Newton Victory: Jurisdiction

Anders Newton is pleased to report its most recent appellate victory, obtained by attorney Will Crone. After winning at both levels of the Industrial Commission, Mr. Crone secured a unanimous ruling from the North Carolina Court of Appeals in Lequire v. Southeastern Construction, dismissing claimant’s case entirely. What happened? Claimant lived in North Carolina but…

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New Law Ahead? NC Lawmakers Debate Covid-19 Workers’ Comp Claims

How will North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system deal with the anticipated claims arising from workers who contract and even die from COVID-19? That’s the question North Carolina lawmakers are addressing as they debate new proposed legislation designed to handle the issue proactively. What is the law all about? House Bill 1057, sponsored by House Minority…

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Mental Health, Addiction, and Workers’ Comp

Economic distress and social isolation are increasing the risk that North Carolina employees may experience mental health issues and substance use disorders. Even under normal conditions, employees suffering a work-related injury or disease may develop opioid addictions or mental conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Sadly, it appears that the COVID-19 pandemic is…

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Let’s Party Like It’s Safety Awareness Month

Grab the streamers and balloons…non-latex, of course! Governor Roy Cooper has declared June 2020 as Safety Awareness Month in North Carolina. For most people, Safety Awareness conjures up images of masks, social distancing, and hand washing. But for the fine folks in the Wonderful World of Workers’ Comp, when we think safety, we think fewer…

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