NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.
Brief overview of the legal analysis of COVID-19 workers’ compensation exposure in North Carolina.
COVID-19 cases must be handled and analyzed on a case-by-case basis; however, based upon the current statute and case law, it is unlikely that suspected COVID-19 or actual COVID-19 cases would be considered compensable under either an injury by accident or occupational disease claim theory in North Carolina. With respect to occupational disease claims, North Carolina is an increased risk state, not a positional risk state. Even if the employee can show some increased risk, they will need to prove that any disease they contract actually came from their employment as opposed to some other type of exposure outside of their employment. Because the legal analysis behind the compensability of a COVID-19 diagnosis is very fact specific, please contact one of our attorneys to discuss your scenario in more detail.
How an increase in teleworking may affect workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina.
COVID-19 has reached North Carolina and is impacting our way of living and working every day. Many employers are relying on teleworking to keep their businesses up and running. With this change in location of work space, we are likely to see an increase in home-related injuries. Employees are allowed to work from home; however, they do not have 24/7 workers’ compensation coverage the entire time they are at home. While many will be teleworking, they will also be engaging in personal activities during this unusual period of time. It is going to be very difficult to contradict the employee’s account of when an injury occurred due to the very nature of teleworking.
How do we know the claimant was actually engaging in work at the time of an injury?
Any injuries at home will have to arise out of and in the course and scope of the employment. There is little case law in North Carolina dealing with injuries suffered by employees working remotely; however, these claims are no different from other claims in the level of proof required to establish a compensable injury by accident. Nonetheless, these claims will pose unique challenges for defendants when investigating the facts surrounding these alleged injuries. Defendants will need to thoroughly investigate the allegations and utilize recorded statements as quickly as possible before the employee retains representation. Questions should focus on the injured employee’s activities at the time of the injury, as well as the normal routine they have developed while working remotely.
An employee who is teleworking will still need to prove:
During this time of uncertainty, our team is here for you. Please contact one of our workers’ compensation attorneys if you have any questions or concerns.