No, if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, your employer does not have to keep your job open for you. North Carolina is an employment at-will state. Unless you are a contracted employee, you may leave your position whenever you desire, and your employer may terminate your position whenever they choose to.
Employers are usually inclined to keep your position open for you. Why? They want you to return to work. When you return to work, your employer will no longer have to tap into their workers' comp insurance policy to cover your benefits. Employers rely on their employees to complete necessary services for the day-to-day requirements of their businesses. It’s in both the employer’s and the employee’s best interest for the injured worker to have a safe recovery and return to work as soon as possible (according to a physician’s approval and prescribed course of treatment).
The answers to questions like this and information about North Carolina workers' compensation are available in injury attorney Brent Adams' book How to Get Top Dollars For Your Workers' Compensation Claim - available for free to injured workers.