NC Labor Commissioner

Living and dying under Cherie Berry's watch

Sorry, but your death means nothing to us:

Goodson, an Orange County man who spent most of his life cutting and dragging massive logs off vast tracts of land, was missing from the 2013 tally. That March, Goodson died instantly when a log slipped from a machine his boss operated and struck him in the head. State inspectors quickly opened a case, but they stopped before getting very far.

Goodson’s arrangement with his boss, Danny Gentry of Gentry’s Logging, was informal, consisting of a handshake and a wad of cash paid irregularly. In the eyes of state investigators, Goodson wasn’t an employee. An investigator closed the case after determining that Goodson, as an independent contractor, wasn’t in the agency’s jurisdiction.

Just an aside: This type of employment is exactly what Civitas/JLF and other Libertarian groups think would be the best arrangement. No government oversight, no worker's compensation insurance, just a personal contract between worker and employer. And if you die on the job? That's just the free market providing a job opening for someone else. And filtering the reported deaths makes for some good (however fraudulent) PR:

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