A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO DISAPPROVE CERTAIN RULES ADOPTED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS TO THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION TO REPLACE THE RULES, AND TO AMEND CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE WORKERS COMPENSATION LAW.
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.
Amends the long title.
Amends Sections 1 and 2, deleting the following Industrial Commission (Commission) rules from the list of rules that are to be disapproved pursuant to the act: discount rate to be used in determining commuted values, appointment of guardian ad litem, motions practice in contested cases, dismissals, applicability of the rules, communication, order for mediated settlement conference, infants and incompetents, and sanction.
Amends GS 97-18(k), deleting language that provided that if the employer or insurer contests an employee's request for reinstatement, then the matter will be scheduled on a preemptive basis. Adds language detailing and explaining the form which must be submitted by the employee in order to move for reinstatement of compensation. The form must contain, among other things, the reasons for the proposed reinstatement, available supporting documentation, and language informing the employer of the right to contest the reinstatement of compensation. Specifies the procedures for an employer to file an objection to the reinstatement. Sets out the procedures for conducting an informal hearing that results from contesting a reinstatement. Provides that either party can request a formal hearing pursuant to GS 97-83.
Deletes Section 4 of the act, which included a new proposed subdivision GS 97-2(23), which defined the term commuted value.
Deletes Section 5 of the act, which included proposed changes to GS 97-40, involving the use of commuted values.
Amends GS 97-25, medical treatment and supplies, making organizational changes and adding new subsections (f) through (h). New subsections provide that, in claims subject to GS 97-18(b) and (d), a party can file an expedited, emergency, or other medical motion with the Office of the Chief Deputy Commissioner, with the non-moving party having the right to contest the motion. Sets out the procedures for submitting motions and responses as well as the procedures for conducting an informal hearing on the motions. Sets out further procedures and protocols for medical motions that are determined by the Commission to be emergencies or motions that should be expedited.
Deletes Section 7 of the act, which included proposed changes to GS 97-78(f)(2), which provided that the Commission must schedule formal hearings pursuant to GS 97-83 on a preemptive basis.
Deletes Section 8 of the act, which included proposed changes to GS 97-73(a), which provided language stating the Commission can establish a schedule of fees, which are to be borne by all parties, for specified documents and activities conducted.
Amends GS 97-80, concerning rules and regulations of the Commission, deleting the proposed new subsection (a1) from the act. Also deletes proposed changes to subsection (b) and (d). Amends subsection (e), deleting all the previous proposed changes but adding new language that provides that a party cannot issue a subpoena duces tecum less than 30 days prior to the hearing date except upon prior approval of the Commission. Makes clarifying changes.
Amends GS 97-81(a), concerning forms and literature used by the Commission, providing that notwithstanding GS 150B-2(8a)d., any new forms or substantive amendments to old forms adopted after July 1, 2013, must be adopted in accordance with the APA.
Directs the Commission to adopt rules to replace the rules disapproved by Sections 1 and 2 of the act. Sets out 12 specific directions which must be followed when adopting the new rules.
Sets out specific disapproved rules, concerning waiver of rules by the Commission, and directs the Commission to adopt rules to replace those listed. Instructs the Commission to amend the rules to provide that the Commission can waive a rule upon its own initiative only if the employee is not represented by counsel.
Directs the Commission to study the burdens on all parties of mandating that costs and fees be submitted electronically. The Commission must submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the 2014 Session of the General Assembly.
Directs the Commission to adopt permanent rules to replace the rules disapproved by this act in accordance with the instructions contained in the act. The Commission is authorized to use the temporary rulemaking procedure and time line, in order to expedite the process. Provides that the rule will also be exempt from the certification and fiscal note requirements of the APA and that the current rules will remain in effect until the rules adopted to replace them become effective.
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