11 NCAC 23A .0619         Foreign Language and sign language Interpreters

(a)  When a person who does not speak or understand the English language or who is speech or hearing impaired is either called to testify in a hearing, other than in an informal hearing conducted pursuant to G.S. 97-18.1, or appears unrepresented before the Full Commission for an oral argument, the person, whether a party or a witness, shall be assisted by a qualified interpreter upon request. For purposes of this Rule, "language" means foreign language or sign language.

(b)  To qualify as a foreign language interpreter, a person shall possess sufficient experience and education, or a combination of experience and education, speaking and understanding English and the foreign language to be interpreted, to qualify as an expert witness pursuant to G.S. 8C-1, Rule 702. For Spanish language interpretation, the interpreter must be "Level A" certified by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. A person qualified as an interpreter under this Rule shall not be interested in the claim and shall make a declaration under oath or affirmation to interpret accurately and truthfully, meaning without any additions or deletions, all questions propounded to the witness and all responses thereto.

(c)  To qualify as a sign language interpreter, a person shall possess a license from the North Carolina Interpreter and Transliterator Licensing Board, under Chapter 90D of the North Carolina General Statutes.

(d)  Any party who is unable to speak or understand English, or who is speech or hearing impaired, or who intends to call as a witness a person who is unable to speak or understand English or who is speech or hearing impaired, shall so notify the Commission and the opposing party, in writing, not less than 21 days prior to the date of the hearing. The notice shall state the language(s) that shall be interpreted for the Commission.

(e)  Upon receiving or giving the notice required in Paragraph (d) of this Rule, the employer or insurer shall retain an interpreter who possesses the qualifications listed in Paragraph (b) or (c) of this Rule to appear at the hearing and interpret the testimony or oral argument of all persons for whom the notice in Paragraph (d) of this Rule has been given or received.

(f)  The interpreter's fee shall constitute a cost as set forth in G.S. 97-80. A qualified interpreter who interprets testimony or oral argument for the Commission is entitled to payment of the fee agreed upon by the interpreter and employer or insurer that retained the interpreter. Except in cases where a claim for compensation has been prosecuted without reasonable ground, the fee agreed upon by the interpreter and employer or insurer shall be paid by the employer or insurer. When the Commission ultimately determines that the request for an interpreter was unfounded, attendant costs shall be assessed against the movant.

(g)  Foreign language interpreters shall abide by the Code of Conduct and Ethics of Foreign Language Interpreters and Translators, contained in Part 4 of Policies and Best Practices for the Use of Foreign Language Interpreting and Translating Services in the North Carolina Court System and promulgated by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and shall interpret, as word for word as is practicable, without editing, commenting, or summarizing, testimony or other communications. The Code of Conduct and Ethics of Foreign Language Interpreters and Translators is hereby incorporated by reference and includes subsequent amendments and editions. A copy may be obtained at no charge from the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Court's website, https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/inline-files/02_2_NC_Standards_for_Language_Access_0.pdf?NhuszCAEVfS8KkdLetH97b9I4NRBcd.f, or upon request, at the offices of the Commission, located in the Dobbs Building, 430 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27603, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

(h)  Sign language interpreters shall interpret, as word for word as is practicable, without editing, commenting, or summarizing, testimony or other communications. Sign language interpreters shall abide by the ethical standards communicated in the training required by G.S. 90D-8.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 97-79(b); 97-80(a);

Eff. November 1, 2014;

Recodified from 04 NCAC 10A .0619 Eff. June 1, 2018;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2019.