GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
HOUSE BILL 205
Short Title: Workers' Compensation/Prison Inmates.
Representatives McNeill and Zachary (Primary Sponsors).
For a complete list of sponsors, refer to the North Carolina General Assembly web site.
March 1, 2017
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT amending provisions of the workers' Compensation Act relating to prisoners.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 97‑13 reads as rewritten:
"§ 97‑13. Exceptions from provisions of Article.
(a) Employees of Certain Railroads. – This Article shall not apply to railroads or railroad employees nor in any way repeal, amend, alter or affect Article 8 of Chapter 60 or any section thereof relating to the liability of railroads for injuries to employees, nor upon the trial of any action in tort for injuries not coming under the provisions of this Article, shall any provision herein be placed in evidence or be permitted to be argued to the jury. Provided, however, that the foregoing exemption to railroads and railroad employees shall not apply to employees of a State‑owned railroad company, as defined in G.S. 124‑11, or to electric street railroads or employees thereof; and this Article shall apply to electric street railroads and employees thereof and to this extent the provisions of Article 8 of Chapter 60 are hereby amended.
(b) Casual Employment, Domestic Servants, Farm Laborers, Federal Government, Employer of Less than Three Employees. – This Article shall not apply to casual employees, farm laborers when fewer than 10 full‑time nonseasonal farm laborers are regularly employed by the same employer, federal government employees in North Carolina, and domestic servants, nor to employees of such persons, nor to any person, firm or private corporation that has regularly in service less than three employees in the same business within this State, except that any employer without regard to number of employees, including an employer of domestic servants, farm laborers, or one who previously had exempted himself, who has purchased workers' compensation insurance to cover his compensation liability shall be conclusively presumed during life of the policy to have accepted the provisions of this Article from the effective date of said policy and his employees shall be so bound unless waived as provided in this Article; provided however, that this Article shall apply to all employers of one or more employees who are employed in activities which involve the use or presence of radiation.
(c) Most Prisoners. –
This Except as provided in this subsection and by subsection (c1) of this
section, this Article shall not apply to prisoners being worked by the
State or any subdivision thereof, except to the following extent: Whenever any
prisoner assigned to the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of
Public Safety shall suffer accidental injury or accidental death arising out of
and in the course of the employment to which he had been assigned, if there be
death or if the results of such injury continue until after the date of the
lawful discharge of such prisoner to such an extent as to amount to a
disability as defined in this Article, then such discharged prisoner or the
dependents or next of kin of such discharged prisoner may have the benefit of
this Article by applying to the Industrial Commission as any other employee;
provided, such application is made within 12 months from the date of the
discharge; and provided further that the maximum compensation to any prisoner
or to the dependents or next of kin of any deceased prisoner shall not exceed
thirty dollars ($30.00) per week and the period of compensation shall relate to
the date of his discharge rather than the date of the accident. If any person
who has been awarded compensation under the provisions of this subsection shall
be recommitted to prison upon conviction of an offense committed subsequent to
the award, such compensation shall immediately cease. Any awards made under the
terms of this subsection shall be paid by the Department of Public Safety from
the funds available for the operation of the Division of Adult Correction of
the Department of Public Safety. The provisions of G.S. 97‑10.1 and
97‑10.2 shall apply to prisoners and discharged prisoners entitled to
compensation under this subsection and to the State in the same manner as said
section applies to employees and employers.
(c1) Certain Inmates. – Inmates employed pursuant to the Prison Industry Enhancement Program shall receive workers' compensation pursuant to G.S. 97‑2(5).
(d) Sellers of Agricultural Products. – This Article shall not apply to persons, firms or corporations engaged in selling agricultural products for the producers thereof on commission or for other compensation, paid by the producers, provided the product is prepared for sale by the producer."
SECTION 2. This act is effective when it becomes law.