Oxfam America recently released a report in which it ranked every state from best to worst for its labor policies. It may not come as a surprise to some, but North Carolina ranked at the very bottom for worker protections — among other things. The commissioner for the state’s Department of Labor says that, at least when it comes to workplace injuries and illnesses, that isn’t necessarily true.
What the report says
The report addresses various subjects, including wages, the right to organize and worker protections such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace. North Carolina has low wages, offers practically no support for workers organizing, and current laws do little to protect employees. Unemployment wages in this state are also some of the lowest in the country. All of these things do not make for happy workers, nor does it encourage people to join the workforce.
What about workplace injuries?
According to the Department of Labor, North Carolina does well in this area. It is the fifth-lowest in the country for work-related illnesses and injuries. Does that mean it is good about helping those who do end up suffering workplace injuries or illnesses? Not necessarily.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to most employed North Carolina residents. That doesn’t mean that accessing this compensation or reaping its full benefits is easy. Many people end up receiving less than they should or having their claims denied, but thankfully, it is possible to appeal when this happens. An experienced workers’ compensation law attorney can help those who have been hurt or become ill due to their job fight for maximum relief. So, even if their employers and the state don’t take care of them in many ways, they are taken care of as they focus on their recovery.