Previously, we talked about the importance of an employer being covered by workers’ compensation in the case of an accident at the office. Workers’ compensation gives both employers and employees coverage in regards to financial and medical aid if an accident leading to injury happens at the office. It is important to keep up to date on the latest workers’ compensation laws, as employers need to make sure they know what to do when dealing with claims.
North Carolina legislators have recently made a few changes to the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Of particular interest are changes in the “Willful Misrepresentation In Applying For Employment” section, which details the circumstances in which compensation for an injured employee would be barred. Grounds for barring compensation include:
- An employee knowingly and willfully making a false representation as to his physical condition.
- An employer relying on the false representation as a substantial factor in hiring said employee.
- A causal connection between the false representation and the injury or occupational disease.
In light of these changes, employers should make sure that they implement internal policies for the hiring of new employees, with regards to current medical condition and the physical mandates of the position. If no such policy is in place, there are several steps an employer can take:
- Conduct research for examples of solid internal hiring policies.
- Add a confidential post-offer, pre-placement medical questionnaire as part of the company’s hiring practices.
- Brief HR personnel on any new workers’ compensation procedures in the hiring process.
These simple measures can save an employer’s experience modification rate and workers’ compensation loss ratio. Before implementing any new procedures, however, it is recommended that an employer consult on these matters with an attorney. Knowing the specifics of workers’ compensation and any changes in state law will save a company both time and money.
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