One question that we hear a lot from those who are debating submitting a workers compensation claim is whether or not they can be fired for doing so. We understand how concerning it can be to be injured on the job, however we want you to know your rights so that you can feel good about whatever decision you make. While we always suggest filing a workers compensation claim if you have been hurt on the job, we also understand that your situation is not always so clear cut. For this reason, we want to explain the laws that protect you in North Carolina in regards to filing a claim.
In North Carolina, you cannot legally be fired for filing a workers compensation claim. You also cannot legally be demoted, suspended, or relocated for the same reason. In fact, the law protects you from being fired for many different reasons in this state. These reasons include work related injuries, wages, salary, work hours, workplace health and safety, pesticide exposure, juvenile justice system, domestic abuse restraining orders, national guard, genetic testing, hemoglobin, and more. This is all part of the North Carolina Retaliatory Discharge Act, or REDA.
Unfortunately, this isn’t as cut and dry as it may seem. North Carolina does allow employers to fire their employees for almost any reason or no reason at all. This is especially true if they cannot continue to do the work. If, however, you believe that you have been punished due to filing a workers compensation claim, you should file a claim to the North Carolina Department of Labor within 180 days of the event. The claim will be investigated and may be able to allow you to proceed to court. In court, you may be able to win lost wages, benefits, and other things such as attorney fees at your former employer’s expense.
If you believe that you have been treated unfairly, demoted, or even fired for submitting a workers compensation claim, then do not hesitate in calling Collier for your free consultation. Our goal is to help you get any monetary compensation that you deserve despite whatever roadblocks may be placed in your path. We are dedicated to helping you get healthy again and back to work, so give us a call and see what we can do for you!