This North Carolina
Personal Injury Law Firm
Won’t Back Down.
c-img c-img-inner

What Rights Do North Carolina Employees Have If They Face Retaliation After Filing a Workers Compensation Claim

Workers Compensation

What is Employment Retaliation?

Employment retaliation law provides that an employer cannot use punitive measures against an employee for engaging in a legal right. Many people mistake corrective measures against an employee who has done something wrong for employment retaliation.

For example, if your employer gives you an unfavorable work schedule because you keep showing up for work late, you cannot claim employment retaliation. Lawyers from a North Carolina personal injury law firm explain that the law only focuses on improper retaliation based on a legal right. Some actions employers may take in cases of employment retaliation include:

  • Pay decrease or withdrawal of benefits
  • Demotion
  • Reassignment to a different location against will
  • Intentionally being assigned undesirable or meaningless tasks
  • Changes to schedule or working hours
  • Termination

If your employer has subjected you to such punitive measures because you took action based on a legal employment right, consult skilled lawyers for the way forward.

When is Employment Retaliation Illegal?

Your rights as an employee are protected, and the law outlines various protected activities:

  • Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim
  • Reporting discrimination
  • Whistleblowing or reporting workplace misconduct
  • Requesting reasonable accommodations for disability or religious purposes
  • Participating in an investigation of a claim
  • Attending a juvenile delinquency hearing with your child
  • Discussing wages and benefits with co-workers
  • Speaking against sexual harassment
  • Pointing out workplace safety violations

If you’ve been treated unfairly for filing a worker’s compensation claim, contact workers’ compensation lawyers in North Carolina. They can evaluate your case and advise from a legal perspective about the steps you can take to protect your rights.

Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If you got injured on the job, you have a right to compensation from your employer. However, you may be worried that pursuing a claim may put you at risk of losing your job. The law in North Carolina protects employees from employer retaliation when they pursue workers’ compensation claims.

Unfortunately, some employers violate the law and take punitive measures against employees who seek the benefits they are entitled to. As an employee, understanding your rights is crucial, and even better if you can engage the expertise of aggressive North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys to help you protect those rights.

North Carolina’s Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) stipulates that an employer cannot fire an employee for pursuing such benefits. However, your employer must demonstrate a valid justification to lawfully fire you after you file a workers’ compensation claim. Your lawyers can investigate the issue to ensure you’re not unfairly dismissed.

You Have a Right to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

You have a legal right to receive compensation if injured while on duty. This right exists to help you manage your expenses, given that:

  • Injuries sustained at the workplace can be expensive to manage
  • The costs can continue to add up if the injury prevents you from working
  • Pursuing a claim can reduce the risk of future incidences as the employer can implement preventive measures in the future
  • Your employer has no legal right to fire you for filing a compensation claim

What Are My Rights If My Employer Dismisses Me Unfairly for Filing Worker’s Compensation?

If your employer fires you without justification after you bring a workers’ compensation claim against them, personal injury lawyers in North Carolina can help you determine if you’re eligible for compensation. However, the outcome may vary because there is no “one size fits all” approach to pursuing employment retaliation claims.

Experienced attorneys can help you evaluate your legal options and pursue the course of action that would deliver the most favorable outcome. For example, you may file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to report employment retaliation based on national origin.

However, it would be more appropriate to file a report with the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Bureau under the State Department of Labor if the legal issue is workers’ compensation. Based on how strong your case is, you could be eligible to recover damages such as the following:

  • Lost income
  • Future lost wages if you can’t return to your position
  • Pain and suffering
  • Compensatory damages
  • Additional liquidated damages

What Will Happen to My Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I Lose My Job?

If your employer fires you after receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, your workers’ compensation claim may still remain open. The carrier/employer should still cover your medical bills until you fully recover or reach maximum medical improvement. The carrier/employer may assert that you are not eligible for wage-replacement benefits as you no longer have a job.

However, you should speak to an experienced attorney if you are still treating and under work restrictions with the workers’ compensation doctor. You may still be entitled to ongoing wage indemnification benefits.

Upon evaluating your case and the underlying circumstances, your North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys may help you file a complaint at the Department of Labor for wrongful termination lawsuit. They can gather all the necessary evidence to support your claim. Remedies you may be able to pursue during the lawsuit include:

  • Reinstatement to your previous employment position
  • Legal and attorney fees associated with your claim
  • Reinstatement of seniority and full benefits
  • Triple your financial losses if the retaliatory firing was willful

A Skilled Personal Injury Attorney Fighting for Your Workers’ Compensation Rights

Filing for workers’ compensation benefits if you get hurt on the job should not put you at risk of employment retaliation. You have a right to receive compensation, and your employer has a duty not to take discriminatory action. If you’re a victim of employee retaliation, talk to lawyers from a reputable personal injury law firm in North Carolina to explore your options.

Brent Adams & Associates is a personal injury law firm with knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyers in North Carolina. We can aggressively assert your workers’ compensation rights, and help you obtain justice if your employer retaliates against you for filing a compensation claim. Call us at 910-226-2797 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Related Articles