Some North Carolina jobs pose a certain amount of risk and danger to workers. Still, employers are expected to ensure that workplaces are kept as safe as possible for employees. When a job-related accident occurs, employees sometimes file compensation benefits claims when the incidents have resulted in personal injuries. In tragic situations that have resulted in a worker's death, his or her spouse or immediate family members are typically entitled to receive those benefits.
One woman, whose husband was killed in an on-the-job accident while working as an electrician for the state, recently expressed dismay in light of a fine that the North Carolina Department of Labor issued against the North Carolina Department of Administration/Facility Management in connection with her husband's death. She stated that the $5,600 fine is far too low, considering the gravity of the situation. The department reportedly has not yet paid the fine. The widow has said that she has been discussing the situation with attorneys in order to discern whether she wishes to pursue legal action relative to her husband's death.
Reportedly, she does not believe the Department of Administration has taken her husband's death seriously enough; otherwise, they would simply accept responsibility and pay the fine. In another workplace accident, the state's Department of Labor issued a fine in excess of $150,000 when three employees died after a scaffold in Raleigh's Charter Square collapsed while they were working. In the aftermath of that incident, citations were issued against three different construction companies alleged to have been responsible.
If a worker or immediate family member has questions or concerns about a job-related accident in North Carolina, they can seek answers by consulting with a workers' compensation attorney in the area. An experienced legal professional would be able to help clarify the often complicated process of filing a claim for benefits. He or she would also be able to advise those involved as to whether grounds for litigation in a civil court exist in a given situation.
Source: bizjournals.com, "NCDOL fine related to workplace incident that killed state employee 'not enough,' wife says", Jeff Jeffrey, Oct. 23, 2015