NCIC COVID-19 Response Updates

On April 2, 2020, Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an Order that, among other things, directed that all superior and district court proceedings be scheduled or rescheduled for a date no sooner than June 1, 2020. Shortly thereafter, the North Carolina Industrial Commission issued the following revised/updated policies regarding Deputy Commissioner hearings and mediations:

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings)
All Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in April or May of 2020 will be continued to be reset on a future docket, with the exception of hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f) or unless the parties are notified otherwise.

Read more

Additional Updates from the Industrial Commission: Secure Leave / Document Signing

By Eleasa Allen

The Industrial Commission continues to review and evaluate its various policies in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Below are the most recent updates from the Commission concerning its Secure Leave Policy and accepting agreements signed through DocuSign.

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Secure Leave Policy

The Industrial Commission recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic will result in attorneys having to reschedule vacations, non-emergency medical procedures, and other plans for which secure leave was obtained. The rescheduled plans may then fall within the same calendar year for which three weeks of secure leave already has been granted and/or may not be known until less than 90 days before the requested secure leave period. Any attorney faced with this situation may file a motion under 11 NCAC 23E .0301 (Waiver of Rules) asking for a waiver or variance of the requirements or provisions of 11 NCAC 23E .0104 (Secure Leave Period for Attorneys). This motion should be filed in conjunction with the new secure leave written request.

Read more

IC Update Regarding COVID-19 Response

By Eleasa Allen

Below is the most recent update from the Industrial Commission relative to COVID-19. This information was posted to the Industrial Commission website to address some questions received from attorneys about the current filing deadlines.

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Filing Deadline Policy

The Industrial Commission has received some inquiries from attorneys regarding its current filing deadline policy. At this time, the Commission has not granted an automatic, blanket extension of filing deadlines for the following reasons:

Read more

Update for Medical Motion Hearings pursuant to G.S. §97-25(f)

By Eleasa Allen

COVID-19 Response:  Medical Motion Hearings To Be Conducted Remotely

Effective March 23, 2020, and continuing through the end of April 2020, the Commission’s COVID-19 procedure for medical motion hearings arising under G.S. §97-25(f) is amended as follows:

All medical motion hearings before Deputy Commissioners shall be conducted with the parties appearing remotely. The presiding Deputy Commissioner will provide the parties a toll-free number and access code to dial into the remote hearing. Consistent with existing procedure, hearing testimony will be recorded by a court reporter.

Read more

Additional Updates in Light of COVID-19

By Eleasa Allen

Below are the most recent updates issued by the North Carolina Industrial Commission on its website in response to the ongoing concerns over COVID-19:

IC Staff Working Remotely; Email Communication Encouraged

In light of Governor Cooper’s March 10, 2020 State of Emergency declaration regarding COVID-19 and consistent with guidance issued by the NC Department of Human Resources, the Industrial Commission is encouraging its staff to work remotely to the greatest extent possible. The Commission remains open for business but encourages you to contact Commission staff by email instead of by phone. Commission employees working remotely have easy and quick access to their email inbox on their laptops and other devices. By contrast, they do not have real time access to office phone calls when working remotely, and their voicemail messages are not forwarded to their personal phones. Email addresses can be found by going under the “Sections” tab on the Commission’s Home Page and clicking on the appropriate section of the Commission. The Commission is committed to continuing to serve you during this challenging time and appreciates your understanding and assistance.

Read more

Fight Hunger, Help Others in the COVID-19 Pandemic – Participate in the Legal Feeding Frenzy and Support Your Local Food Bank!

Michele Livingstone

Will Quick

By Michele Livingstone and Will Quick

We are in unprecedented times with COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  It is now more important than ever that we help our neighbors and those who are not as fortunate. I am confident that each of you is doing your part.

Even in the best of times, however, over 1.5 Million North Carolinians struggle with hunger—of those, nearly half a million are children. With public schools and many religious and nonprofit organizations that traditionally serve the food insecure in our communities being closed for indefinite periods, and government leaders calling for social distancing to help limit the spread of Coronavirus, that need is never more pressing than now.

Read more

Updates in Light of COVID-19

Eleasa Allen

Heather Baker

By Eleasa Allen and Heather Baker

This is a post to provide the Section with some updates in light of the changes, postponements, and closures as a result of COVID-19/Coronavirus.  This is an evolving situation that will have varying impacts on each of us.  We encourage everyone to remain flexible.  As additional information is disseminated, we will be sure to share it with you.

Due to concerns regarding safety and public gatherings, the Section’s social scheduled for April 23, 2020 at the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game has been cancelled.  There should be additional social events scheduled in the future, so stay tuned for those.

Read more

Spring Is in the Air!

By Eleasa Harris Allen

I am starting to see signs of spring, and it brings a smile to my face. The blooming daffodils, budding trees, and green grass are harbingers of warmer weather and more opportunities to get to leave our desks and enjoy some time outdoors.

Before skipping straight into the spring and the upcoming opportunities it will bring, I wanted to take a moment to quickly reflect on the Workers’ Compensation Section’s CLE and Annual Meeting, which was held on February 6 and 7 at the Grandover Resort.

As anyone who was able to attend can confirm, the two days of CLE were well-attended, and the presentations were across-the-board informative and educational. We had a total of 262 attendees, which is more than have attended in the past two years . . . it was literally standing room only on Thursday morning!  A great deal of thanks is owed to Sarah Blair and Cameron Simmons and all the speakers, who took their time to plan, prepare and present at the CLE. Also, I want to thank the folks at the Bar Association who handled the bulk of the logistics for the program.

Read more

Baseball, Beer, and Brats

By Reid McGraw

Join your friends of the Workers’ Compensation Section for a baseball blast on April 23, 2020 in Greensboro.

Baseball, beer, and brats. Or, barbecue if you prefer a different alliteration. Nothing speaks the rite of passage into spring or summer quite like those delicious items. When combined with the company of good friends from the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Bar, the recipe is perfect; or at least it was last spring when we gathered for fellowship at BB&T baseball field in Charlotte for a Knights game. My crew arrived early, as I enjoy the pregame rituals of baseball. And we wanted to make sure to sample the wares of bar and buffet early and often. The beer was cold (and there were several craft offerings), and the food tasty. In addition to the traditional barbecue and brats, there were wings and a taco bar. Literally, something for everyone. And did I mention the beer was cold and good?

The home team won, yet that was not the point. None of my girls caught a foul ball, although a couple of them did scurry away from a few. My family had a delightful time, and by all appearances, so did the others who joined us for the evening. Some of our colleagues even offered the outing as a little recreational time for their staff. A good time for all.

Read more

NCIC Quarterly Update

Hello WC Section Members! We hope 2020 is treating you well and you have made it through whatever January challenge you have undertaken (Whole30, Dry January, etc.). The CLE at the Grandover will give you the opportunity to throw all those good intentions by the wayside.

We have received the NCIC Quarterly Update and are sending it out for your enjoyment.

NCIC Quarterly Update

We look forward to seeing everyone in Greensboro.


your Communication Chairs