Dysart Willis represents employers that have received penalties from the North Carolina Industrial Commission under NCGS 97-94 for failure to carry workers' compensation insurance. There have been a variety of changes to this area of the law over the past twelve months. The good news for employers is that following significant revisions to the law in July 2018, these changes have generally been positive. In some situations, these changes have provided significant relief to employers from the Industrial Commission's prior aggressive policies.
Attorneys Christian Dysart and Ryan Willis are pleased to announce Joe Houchin and Meredith Hubbard as new equity members of the firm. To reflect their new ownership positions, the firm's formal name has officially changed to Dysart Willis Houchin & Hubbard, PLLC effective April 1, 2019. This advancement recognizes Mr. Houchin and Ms. Hubbard's contributions to the firm and the outstanding results they have achieved for firm clients over the past years. The attorneys of Dysart Willis will continue to defend clients charged with criminal offenses in state and federal courts in addition to the firm's business, civil, and immigration practices.
As discussed previously here, the recent legalization of industrial hemp and hemp derivatives including cannabidiol ("CBD") has raised questions about the permissibility of adding CBD to foods and supplements. Although the 2018 Farm Bill and NC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program allow for the regulated growth, processing, transport, and sale of hemp and CBD products, the Food and Drug Administration was quick to assert its enforcement authority under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA's current position is that the addition of CBD to food and supplement products is not permissible and enforcement action may be taken against violators.
North Carolina businesses with three or more employees are required to have workers compensation insurance coverage under NCGS 97-93. Failure to secure the required policy can result in civil fines and criminal penalties against noninsured employers under the companion statute, NCGS 97-94. The policy behind the law is understandable - in the event of a workplace injury, insurance should be in place in order to cover any medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disability suffered by a worker injured on the job.
Dysart Willis is excited to announce that Joe Houchin has been named a firm partner after previously serving as an associate attorney. "Dysart Willis provides the best in criminal defense representation," Houchin said. "I'm honored to move into a partnership role and look forward to continuing the tradition the firm has established of providing unparalleled service for our clients."
Businesses both large and small face a multitude of requirements and challenges. While each industry in North Carolina is different, the number of regulations, licensing requirements, and tax and payroll compliance impose a seemingly never ending maze of confusion. Even with the highest level of diligence, things can slip through the cracks. Whether its missed premium payments, failure to secure required licenses, or financial mix-ups, mistakes can have unfortunate consequences.