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.
Dysart Willis has remained committed to the representation of North Carolina businesses facing civil penalties from the Industrial Commission. As previously reported here, the Industrial Commission has been engaged in the active enforcement of NCGS § 97-94 for several years with a recent shift towards a less forgiving and more punitive approach. This statute allows for a civil penalty of between $50 and $100 per day against employers that fail to carry workers' compensation insurance.
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.
If you are an employer who recently received a Penalty Assessment Order from the North Carolina Industrial Commission, you have likely been caught by surprise and have questions. Financially crippling penalties along with the threat of criminal charges is a situation more and more NC companies are facing since the Industrial Commission has stepped up non-insurance enforcement and compliance efforts.