Consistent with other courts, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will follow Orders of the North Carolina Supreme Court for emergency directives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission’s decision is at https://www.ic.nc.gov/news.html#hot (“Current Commission Policies Regarding Mediation, Commission Hearings, and Written Affirmation without Notarization.”)
Three things come from this. First, all workers’ comp mediations will be conducted remotely or virtually as a general rule. This has been standard in workers’ comp cases for most of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second, deputy commissioner hearings in workers’ comp cases will continue to be remote or virtual as a general rule. Full Commission hearings of workers’ comp cases will also continue to be virtual.
Finally, the Commission will continue to accept affirmations as a substitute for in-person notarizations, as long as the affirmation confirms the truth of the matter signed with language substantially the same as that found in Emergency Directive 5 (or language that is substantially the same): “I (we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is (are) true. (Signed) _____________.”
On February 13, 2021, the Supreme Court extended these emergency directives through March 14, 2021. The North Carolina Industrial Commission will do likewise in workers’ comp cases during this time, too. The Supreme Court’s Order is at https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/news-uploads/13%20February%202021%207A-39%28b%29%282%29%20Order%20Extending%20Emergency%20Directives.pdf?57CFrnjh3uzISf3wwDqtj5yhIFcFvXSb.