GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
HOUSE DRH30233-LR-24K* (02/07)
Short Title: Protect and Put NC Back to Work.
Representatives Folwell, Dollar, Hager, and Crawford (Primary Sponsors).
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT protecting and putting north carolina back to work by reforming the workers' compensation act to (1) define "suitable employment" pertaining to an employee's return to work within restrictions or after reaching maximum improvement; (2) make willful misrepresentations grounds for disqualification from receiving benefits; (3) provide that parties may reach a separate contemporaneous agreement to resolve issues not covered by the act; (4) clarify the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees regarding medical examinations, treatment, and access to medical information; (5) cap the duration of compensation for temporary total disability; (6) extend from three hundred to five hundred the number of weeks an injured employee is eligible to receive compensation for partial incapacity; (7) increase the death benefit and burial expense allowance; (8) reduce the industrial commission from seven to five members subject to legislative confirmation; (9) provide that commissioners and deputy commissioners are subject to the code of judicial standards; and (10) repeal the commission's full exemption from the administrative procedure act, thereby subjecting the commission to rule making pursuant to article 2a of chapter 150b of the general statutes and requiring the commission to readopt rules pursuant to that article.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the "Protecting and Putting North Carolina Back to Work Act."
SECTION 2. G.S. 97‑2 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
"§ 97‑2. Definitions.
When used in this Article, unless the context otherwise
(22) Suitable employment. – The term "suitable employment" means any employment available that (i) prior to reaching maximum medical improvement is within the employee's work restrictions including rehabilitative employment approved by the employee's treating health care provider or (ii) after reaching maximum medical improvement is employment which the employee is capable of performing considering the employee's education, physical limitations due to the injury, vocational skills, and experience."
SECTION 3. Article 1 of Chapter 97 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 97‑12.1. Willful misrepresentation in applying for employment.
No compensation shall be allowed under this Article for injury by accident or occupational disease if the employer proves that (i) at the time of hire or in the course of entering into employment, (ii) at the time of receiving notice of the removal of conditions from a conditional offer of employment, or (iii) during the course of a post‑offer medical examination:
(1) The employee knowingly and willfully made a false representation as to the employee's physical condition;
(2) The employer relied upon one or more false representations by the employee, and the reliance was a substantial factor in the employer's decision to hire the employee; and
(3) There was a causal connection between false representation by the employee and the injury or occupational disease."
SECTION 4. G.S. 97‑17 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
"(e) Nothing in this section prevents the parties from reaching a separate contemporaneous agreement resolving issues not covered by this Article."
SECTION 5. G.S. 97‑25 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑25. Medical treatment and supplies.
Medical compensation shall be provided by the employer.
case of a controversy arising between the employer and employee relative to the
continuance of medical, surgical, hospital, or other treatment, the Industrial
Commission may order such further treatments as may in the discretion of the
Commission be necessary.
The Industrial Commission may at any time upon the
request of an employee order a change of treatment
and designate other
treatment suggested by the injured employee subject to the approval of the
Commission, and in or health care provider and in such a case the
expense thereof shall be borne by the employer upon the same terms and conditions
as hereinbefore provided in this section for medical and surgical treatment and
attendance. The Commission must find that any change in treatment or health
care provider is based upon clear and convincing medical evidence. The
Commission shall disregard any opinions of an unauthorized health care provider
who evaluated, diagnosed, or treated the employee before the employee's request
to change treatment or health care provider was filed with the Commission.
The refusal of the employee to accept any medical, hospital,
surgical or other treatment or rehabilitative procedure when ordered by the
Industrial Commission shall bar
said the employee from further
compensation until such the refusal ceases, and no compensation
shall at any time be paid for the period of suspension unless in the opinion of
the Industrial Commission the circumstances justified the refusal, in which
case, the Industrial Commission may order a change in the medical or hospital
If in an emergency on account of the employer's failure to
provide the medical or other care as herein specified a physician other than
provided by the employer is called to treat the injured employee, the
reasonable cost of
suchthe service shall be paid by the employer
if so ordered by the Industrial Commission. Provided, however, if he so desires, an injured employee
may select a physician of his own choosing to attend, prescribe and assume the
care and charge of his case, subject to the approval of the Industrial
SECTION 6. G.S. 97‑25.6 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑25.6. Reasonable access to medical information.
(a) It is the policy of this State that the parties have reasonable access to all medical records, reports, and information that are pertinent to and necessary for the fair and swift resolution of workers' compensation claims. Therefore, an employer is entitled, without the express authorization of the employee, to obtain medical records of the employee and communicate with an employee's health care providers if the requested medical records, reports, and information are:
(1) Restricted to the particular evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of the injury or disease for which compensation, including medical compensation, is sought;
(2) Reasonably related to the injury or diseases for which the employee claims compensation; or
(3) Related to an assessment of the employee's ability to return to work or perform suitable employment as a result of the particular injury or disease.
(b) A party may communicate with the employee's health care providers by written and oral communication if the requesting party notifies the opposing party of the health care provider's response within 15 calendar days. The employer shall make every reasonable effort to limit unnecessary communication with the health care provider.
(c) Upon motion by an employee or the health care provider from whom medical records, reports, or information are sought or upon its own motion, for good cause shown, the Commission may make any order which justice requires to protect an employee, health care provider, or other person from unreasonable annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.
(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to communications concerning an independent medical evaluation for the purpose of expert testimony.
(e) The Commission shall annually establish an appropriate medical fee to compensate health care providers for time spent communicating with the employer or representatives of the employee.
(f) No cause of action shall arise and no health care provider shall incur any liability as a result of the release of medical records, reports, or information pursuant to this Article.
(g) Any medical records or reports that reflect evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment of the particular injury or disease for which compensation is sought or is reasonably related to the injury or disease for which the employee seeks compensation shall be furnished by the employee to the employer when requested in writing by the employer.
(h) For purposes of this section, the term "employer" means the employer, the employer's attorney, and the employer's insurance carrier or third‑party administrator, and the term "employee" means the employee, legally appointed guardian, or any attorney representing the employee.
(i) Notwithstanding any provision of G.S. 8‑53 to the contrary, and because discovery is limited under G.S. 97‑80, records obtained and communications conducted pursuant to this section supersede the prohibition against ex parte communications, and privacy of medical records in the custody of health care providers in matters or proceedings under this Article.
Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 8‑53,
any law relating to the privacy of medical records or information, and the
prohibition against ex parte communications at common law, an employer or
insurer paying medical compensation to a provider rendering treatment under
this Article may obtain records of the treatment without the express
authorization of the employee. In addition, with written notice to the
employee, the employer or insurer may obtain directly from a medical provider
medical records of evaluation or treatment restricted to a current injury or
current condition for which an employee is claiming compensation from that
employer under this Article. Any medical records or reports, restricted to conditions
related to the injury or illness for which the employee is seeking
compensation, in the possession of the employee shall be furnished by the
employee to the employer when requested in writing by the employer. An employer or insurer paying compensation for an admitted
claim or paying without prejudice pursuant to G.S. 97‑18(d) may
communicate with an employee's medical provider in writing, limited to specific
questions promulgated by the Commission, to determine, among other information,
the diagnosis for the employee's condition, the reasonable and necessary
treatment, the anticipated time that the employee will be out of work, the
relationship, if any, of the employee's condition to the employment, the
restrictions from the condition, the kind of work for which the employee may be
eligible, the anticipated time the employee will be restricted, and the
permanent impairment, if any, as a result of the condition. When these
questions are used, a copy of the written communication shall be provided to
the employee at the same time and by the same means as the communication is
provided to the provider. Other forms of communication with a medical provider may
be authorized by (i) a valid written authorization voluntarily given and signed
by the employee, (ii) by agreement of the parties, or (iii) by order of the
Commission issued upon a showing that the information sought is necessary for
the administration of the employee's claim and is not otherwise reasonably
obtainable under this section or through other provisions for discovery
authorized by the Commission's rules. In adopting rules or authorizing employer
communications with medical providers, the Commission shall protect the
employee's right to a confidential physician‑patient relationship while
facilitating the release of information necessary to the administration of the
employee's claim. Upon motion by an employee or provider from whom medical
records or reports are sought or upon its own motion, for good cause shown, the
Commission may make any order which justice requires to protect an employee or
other person from unreasonable annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense."
SECTION 7. G.S. 97‑27 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑27. Medical examination; facts not privileged; refusal to be examined suspends compensation; other medical opinions; autopsy.
(a) After an injury, and so long as
employee claims compensation, the employee, if so requested by his or
her employer or ordered by the Industrial Commission, shall, subject to the
provisions of subsection (b), submit himself to an independent
medical examination, at reasonable times and places, by a duly qualified
physician or surgeon physician who is licensed and practicing in North
Carolina and is designated and paid by the employer or the Industrial
Commission.Commission, even if the employee's claim has been denied
pursuant to G.S. 97‑18(c).
(b) The injured employee
the right to have present at such the independent medical examination
any duly qualified physician or surgeon provided and paid by him.the
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 8‑53,
no fact communicated to or otherwise learned by any physician
or surgeon or
hospital or hospital employee who may have attended or examined the
employee, or who may have been present at any examination, shall be privileged
in any workers' compensation case with respect to a claim pending for hearing
before the Industrial Commission.
(d) If the employee refuses to submit
to or in any way obstructs such the examination requested by
and provided for by the employer, his the employee's right to
compensation and his right to take or prosecute any proceedings under
this Article shall be suspended immediately until such the refusal
or objection ceases, and no compensation shall at any time be payable for the
period of obstruction, unless in the opinion of the Industrial Commission the
circumstances justify the refusal or obstruction. The employer, or the Industrial
Commission, shall have the right in any case of death to require an autopsy at
the expense of the party requesting the same. (b) In those cases arising under this
Article in which there is a question as to the percentage of permanent
disability suffered by an employee, if any employee, required to submit to a
physical examination under the provisions of subsection (a) is dissatisfied
with such examination or the report thereof, he shall be entitled to have
another examination by a duly qualified physician or surgeon licensed and
practicing in North Carolina or by a duly qualified physician or surgeon
licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee
provided said nonresident physician or surgeon shall have been approved by the
North Carolina Industrial Commission and his name placed on the Commission's
list of approved nonresident physicians and surgeons, designated by him and
paid by the employer or the Industrial Commission in the same manner as
physicians designated by the employer or the Industrial Commission are paid.
Provided, however, that all travel expenses incurred in obtaining said
examination shall be paid by said employee. The employer shall have the right
to have present at such examination a duly qualified physician or surgeon
provided and paid by him. No fact communicated to or otherwise learned by any
physician or surgeon who may have attended or examined the employee, or who may
have been present at any examination, shall be privileged, either in hearings
provided for by this Article or any action at law.
(e) In any case arising under this Article in which the employee is dissatisfied with the percentage of permanent disability as provided by G.S. 97‑31 and determined by the authorized health care provider, the employee is entitled to another opinion solely on the issue of the percentage of permanent disability provided by a duly qualified physician of the employee's choosing who is licensed and practicing in North Carolina and designated by the employee. That physician is paid by the employer in the same manner as health care providers designated by the employer or the Industrial Commission are paid. The Industrial Commission shall disregard any opinions of the duly qualified physician chosen by the employee other than the physician's opinion on the percentage of permanent disability as described in G.S. 97‑31. No fact communicated to or otherwise learned by any physician who may have attended or examined the employee, or who may have been present at any examination, shall be privileged, either in hearings provided for by this Article or any action at law.
(f) The employer, or the Industrial Commission, has the right in any case of death to require an autopsy at its expense."
SECTION 8. G.S. 97‑29 reads as rewritten:
Compensation rates Rates and duration of compensation for total
Except as hereinafter otherwise
provided, where Where the incapacity for work resulting from the
injury or occupational disease is total, the employer shall pay or cause
to be paid, as hereinafter provided, to the injured employee during such total
disability a weekly compensation equal to sixty‑six and two‑thirds
percent (662/3%) of his average weekly wages, but not more than the amount
established annually to be effective October 1 as provided herein, nor less
than thirty dollars ($30.00) per week.
(b) In cases of temporary total
permanent disability, compensation, including medical compensation, shall
be paid for by the employer during the lifetime of the injured employee. If
death results from the injury then the employer shall pay compensation in
accordance with the provisions of G.S. 97‑38.but in no case
shall the period covered by the compensation be greater than 500 weeks from the
date of the injury, except as provided by subsection (c) of this section. Where
an employee can show both a disability pursuant to this section or G.S. 97‑30
and a specific physical impairment pursuant to G.S. 97‑31,
regardless of whether the employee sustained multiple scheduled injuries as a
result of the accident, the employee may not collect benefits pursuant to both
this section or G.S. 97‑30 and G.S. 97‑31 after reaching
maximum medical improvement, but rather is entitled to select the statutory
compensation which provides the more favorable remedy.
(c) In cases of total and permanent disability compensation, compensation including medical compensation, shall be paid for by the employer during the lifetime of the injured employee. If death results from the injury or occupational disease, then the employer shall pay compensation in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 97‑37. An injured employee is presumed to be totally and permanently disabled and qualified for lifetime compensation only if the injured employee has an injury consisting of one or more of the following:
(1) The loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, or both eyes as provided by G.S. 97‑31(17).
(2) Spinal injury involving severe paralysis of both arms, both legs, or the trunk.
(3) Severe brain or closed‑head injury as evidenced by severe and permanent:
a. Sensory or motor disturbances;
b. Communication disturbances;
c. Complex integrated disturbances of cerebral function; or
d. Neurological disorders.
(4) Second‑degree or third‑degree burns of thirty‑three percent (33%) or more of the total body surface unless the employer shows that the employee is capable of returning to suitable employment as defined in G.S. 97‑2(22).
(d) The weekly compensation payment for members of the North Carolina National Guard and the North Carolina State Defense Militia shall be the maximum amount established annually in accordance with the last paragraph of this section per week as fixed herein. The weekly compensation payment for deputy sheriffs, or those acting in the capacity of deputy sheriffs, who serve upon a fee basis, shall be thirty dollars ($30.00) a week as fixed herein.
(e) An officer or member of the State Highway Patrol shall not be awarded any weekly compensation under the provisions of this section for the first two years of any incapacity resulting from an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the performance by him of his official duties if, during such incapacity, he continues to be an officer or member of the State Highway Patrol, but he shall be awarded any other benefits to which he may be entitled under the provisions of this Article.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, on July 1 of each year, a maximum weekly benefit amount shall be computed. The amount of this maximum weekly benefit shall be derived by obtaining the average weekly insured wage in accordance with G.S. 96‑8(22), by multiplying such average weekly insured wage by 1.10, and by rounding such figure to its nearest multiple of two dollars ($2.00), and this said maximum weekly benefit shall be applicable to all injuries and claims arising on and after January 1 following such computation. Such maximum weekly benefit shall apply to all provisions of this Chapter and shall be adjusted July 1 and effective January 1 of each year as herein provided."
SECTION 9. G.S. 97‑30 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑30. Partial incapacity.
Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 97‑31, where
the incapacity for work resulting from the injury is partial, the employer
shall pay, or cause to be paid, as hereinafter provided, to the injured
employee during such disability, a weekly compensation equal to sixty‑six
and two‑thirds percent (66 2/3%) of the difference between his average
weekly wages before the injury and the average weekly wages which he is able to
earn thereafter, but not more than the amount established annually to be
effective October 1 as provided in G.S. 97‑29 a week, and in no case
shall the period covered by such compensation be greater than
weeks from the date of injury. In case the partial disability begins after
a period of total disability, the latter period shall be deducted from the
maximum period herein allowed for partial disability. An officer or member of
the State Highway Patrol shall not be awarded any weekly compensation under the
provisions of this section for the first two years of any incapacity resulting
from an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the performance
by him of his official duties if, during such incapacity, he continues to be an
officer or member of the State Highway Patrol, but he shall be awarded any
other benefits to which he may be entitled under the provisions of this
SECTION 10. G.S. 97‑32 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑32. Refusal of injured employee to accept suitable employment as suspending compensation.
If an injured employee refuses
employment procured for
him suitable to his capacity he suitable employment as defined by G.S. 97‑2(22),
the employee shall not be entitled to any compensation at any time during
the continuance of such refusal, unless in the opinion of the Industrial
Commission such refusal was justified. Nothing in this Article prohibits an
employer from contacting the employee directly about returning to suitable
SECTION 11. G.S. 97‑38 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑38. Where death results proximately from compensable injury or occupational disease; dependents; burial expenses; compensation to aliens; election by partial dependents.
If death results proximately from a compensable injury or
occupational disease and within six years thereafter, or within two years of
the final determination of disability, whichever is later, the employer shall
pay or cause to be paid, subject to the provisions of other sections of this
Article, weekly payments of compensation equal to sixty‑six and two‑thirds
percent (66 2/3%) of the average weekly wages of the deceased employee at the
time of the accident, but not more than the amount established annually to be
effective October 1 as provided in G.S. 97‑29, nor less than thirty
dollars ($30.00), per week, and burial expenses not exceeding
five hundred dollars ($3,500), ten thousand dollars ($10,000), to
the person or persons entitled thereto as follows:
(3) If there is no person wholly dependent, and the person or all persons partially dependent is or are within the classes of persons defined as "next of kin" in G.S. 97‑40, whether or not such persons or such classes of persons are of kin to the deceased employee in equal degree, and all so elect, he or they may take, share and share alike, the commuted value of the amount provided for whole dependents in (1) above instead of the proportional payment provided for partial dependents in (2) above; provided, that the election herein provided may be exercised on behalf of any infant partial dependent by a duly qualified guardian; provided, further, that the Industrial Commission may, in its discretion, permit a parent or person standing in loco parentis to such infant to exercise such option in its behalf, the award to be payable only to a duly qualified guardian except as in this Article otherwise provided; and provided, further, that if such election is exercised by or on behalf of more than one person, then they shall take the commuted amount in equal shares.
When weekly payments have been made
to an injured employee before his death, the compensation to dependents shall
begin from the date of the last of such payments. Compensation payments due on
account of death shall be paid for a period of
400500 weeks from
the date of the death of the employee; provided, however, after said 400‑week
500‑week period in case of a widow or widower who is unable to
support herself or himself because of physical or mental disability as of the
date of death of the employee, compensation payments shall continue during her
or his lifetime or until remarriage and compensation payments due a dependent
child shall be continued until such child reaches the age of 18.
Compensation payable under this Article to aliens not residents (or about to become nonresidents) of the United States or Canada, shall be the same in amounts as provided for residents, except that dependents in any foreign country except Canada shall be limited to surviving spouse and child or children, or if there be no surviving spouse or child or children, to the surviving father or mother."
SECTION 12. G.S. 97‑77(a) reads as rewritten:
"(a) There is hereby created a commission to be
known as the North Carolina Industrial Commission, consisting of
commissioners who shall devote their entire time to the duties of the
Commission. The Governor shall appoint the members of the Commission, one
for a term of two years, one for a term of four years, one for a term Commission
for terms of six years. Of the additional appointments made in 1994, one
shall be for a term expiring June 30, 1996, one for a term expiring June 30,
1998, and two for terms expiring June 30, 2000. Upon the expiration of each
term as above mentioned, the Governor shall appoint a successor for a term of
six years, and thereafter the term of office of each commissioner shall be six
years. Not more than three Two appointees commissioners shall
be persons who, on account of their previous vocations, employment or
affiliations, can be classed as representatives of employers, and not more
than three employers. Two appointees commissioners shall
be persons who, on account of their previous vocations, employment or
affiliations, can be classed as representatives of employees. No person may
serve more than two terms on the Commission. Service for any part of a term
counts as a term. For the purpose of this paragraph, service prior to its
effective date shall be counted in the calculation."
SECTION 13. G.S. 97‑77 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
"(a1) Appointments of commissioners are subject to confirmation by the General Assembly by joint resolution. The names of commissioners to be appointed by the Governor shall be submitted by the Governor to the General Assembly for confirmation by the General Assembly on or before March 1 of the year of expiration of the term. If the Governor fails to timely submit nominations, the General Assembly shall appoint to fill the succeeding term upon the joint recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in accordance with G.S. 120‑121 not inconsistent with this section.
In case of death, incapacity, resignation, or vacancy for any other reason in the office of any commissioner prior to the expiration of the term of office, a nomination to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term shall be submitted by the Governor within four weeks after the vacancy arises to the General Assembly for confirmation by the General Assembly. If the Governor fails to timely nominate a person to fill the vacancy, the General Assembly shall appoint to fill the remainder of the unexpired term upon the joint recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in accordance with G.S. 120‑121 not inconsistent with this section. If a vacancy arises or exists pursuant to this subsection when the General Assembly is not in session, and the appointment is deemed urgent by the Governor, the commissioner may be appointed and serve on an interim basis pending confirmation by the General Assembly. For the purpose of this subsection, the General Assembly is not in session only (i) prior to convening of the Regular Session, (ii) during any adjournment of the Regular Session for more than 10 days, and (iii) after sine die adjournment of the Regular Session.
No person while in office as a commissioner may be nominated or appointed on an interim basis to fill the remainder of an unexpired term, or to a full term that commences prior to the expiration of the term that the commissioner is serving."
SECTION 14. Article 1 of Chapter 97 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 97‑78.1. Standards of judicial conduct to apply to commissioners and deputy commissioners.
The standards of judicial conduct provided for judges in Article 30 of Chapter 7A of the General Statutes shall apply to commissioners and deputy commissioners. Commissioners and deputy commissioners shall be liable to impeachment for the causes and in the manner provided for judges of the General Court of Justice in Chapter 123 of the General Statutes. Commissioners and deputy commissioners shall not engage in any other employment, business, profession, or vocation while in office."
SECTION 15. G.S. 97‑80(a) reads as rewritten:
"(a) The Commission
may make shall adopt
rules, in accordance with Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General
Statutes and not inconsistent with this Article, for carrying out the
provisions of this Article. The Commission shall request the Office of State
Budget and Management to prepare a fiscal note for a proposed new or amended
rule that has a substantial economic impact, as defined in G.S. 150B‑21.4(b1).
The Commission shall not take final action on a proposed rule change that has a
substantial economic impact until at least 60 days after the fiscal note has
been prepared. Processes, procedure, and discovery under this Article
shall be as summary and simple as reasonably may be."
SECTION 16. G.S. 97‑84 reads as rewritten:
The Commission or any of its members shall hear the parties at issue and their representatives and witnesses, and shall determine the dispute in a summary manner. The Commission shall decide the case and issue findings of fact based upon the preponderance of the evidence in view of the entire record. The award, together with a statement of the findings of fact, rulings of law, and other matters pertinent to the questions at issue shall be filed with the record of the proceedings, within 180 days of the close of the hearing record unless time is extended for good cause by the Commission, and a copy of the award shall immediately be sent to the parties in dispute. The parties may be heard by a deputy, in which event the hearing shall be conducted in the same way and manner prescribed for hearings which are conducted by a member of the Industrial Commission, and said deputy shall proceed to a complete determination of the matters in dispute, file his written opinion within 180 days of the close of the hearing record unless time is extended for good cause by the Commission, and the deputy shall cause to be issued an award pursuant to such determination."
SECTION 17.(a) G.S. 150B‑1(c) reads as rewritten:
"(c) Full Exemptions. – This Chapter applies to every agency except:
(1) The North Carolina National Guard in exercising its court‑martial jurisdiction.
(2) The Department of Health and Human Services in exercising its authority over the Camp Butner reservation granted in Article 6 of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes.
(3) The Utilities Commission.
(4) The Industrial Commission.
(5) The Employment Security Commission.
(6) The State Board of Elections in administering the HAVA Administrative Complaint Procedure of Article 8A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes.
(7) The North Carolina State Lottery.
(8) (Expires June 30, 2012) Except as provided in G.S. 150B‑21.1B, any agency with respect to contracts, disputes, protests, and/or claims arising out of or relating to the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111‑5)."
SECTION 17.(b) G.S. 150B‑(1)(e) is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:
"(e) Exemptions From Contested Case Provisions. – The contested case provisions of this Chapter apply to all agencies and all proceedings not expressly exempted from the Chapter. The contested case provisions of this Chapter do not apply to the following:
(18) The Industrial Commission."
SECTION 17.(c) The Industrial Commission shall adopt all rules contained in Title 4 of Chapter 10 of the North Carolina Administrative Code as of the effective date of this act in accordance with Article 2A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes. Any existing rule that has not been readopted by December 31, 2012, shall expire.
SECTION 17.(d) This section becomes effective May 1, 2011, and applies to claims filed and to rule making commenced on or after that date.
SECTION 18. As of February 1, 2011, the terms of the seven members of the Industrial Commission are as follows:
(1) One serves a term expiring April 30, 2011.
(2) Two serve terms expiring June 30, 2012.
(3) One serves a term expiring April 30, 2013.
(4) One serves a term expiring June 30, 2014.
(5) One serves a term expiring April 30, 2015.
(6) One serves a term expiring June 30, 2016.
The reduction from seven commissioners to five commissioners provided by Section 9 of this act is effective by not filling the two offices that expire June 30, 2012, pursuant to subdivision (2) of this section. The reduction from three commissioners to two in the employee and employer categories of qualification and the qualifications of the fifth commissioner as provided by G.S. 97‑77(a) become effective July 1, 2012.
SECTION 19. This act is effective when it becomes law, with Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 applying as to claims pending on or after that date. Sections 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 16 of this act become effective July 1, 2011, and apply to claims arising on or after that date.