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Workers' compensation decisions need to be unbiased and fair

The North Carolina Industrial Commission is the agency responsible for the administration of the laws relating to the state workers’ compensation program. It is absolutely vital that those in charge are unbiased in their decisions one way or the other to ensure that the rights of all involved parties are upheld.

The ability to make an unbiased decision was called into question concerning the latest nominee to the panel that is charged with the task of determining the outcome of workers’ compensation cases. According to those that object to the nomination of Charlton Allen, he has a political history that makes them suspect that he will favor the employers in these cases.

The political history that the opposition referred to was his support of a constitutional amendment that favored employers through the elimination of unions by making the jurisdiction a “right to work” state. Tied into this issue was a statement that he didn’t believe that paid sick leave or lunch breaks should be mandatory. These comments were made in a candidate questionnaire for the Civitas Institute.

Allen said that despite those statements, he would take his Industrial Commission duties seriously. “I intend if I am confirmed to be a balanced, fair, equitable commissioner,” he said in a meeting with the Rules Commission. Rules Chairman Tim Moore reminded those in attendance that everyone has political opinions, but he went on to say that he thought that those present “recognize whenever politics is over, we all have a job to do.”

The job of a workers’ compensation attorney is to ensure that biases and other issues, whether intended or not, do not affect the outcome of a particular claim.

Source: Charlotte Observer, “Democrats object to McCrory nominee for NC workers’ comp panel,” John Frank and Patrick Gannon, May 22, 2014

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