The short answer: No. It is against the law for an employer to terminate or demote an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is covered by both state and federal laws. However, these cases require careful handling.
For example, the N.C. Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act prohibits employers from firing or discriminating against employees for filing a worker’s compensation claim or exercising other rights such as filing a complaint about workplace safety violations.
You may have the right to pursue legal action if this occurs to you. However, you must first file a written complaint with the N.C. Department of Labor’s Employment Discrimination Bureau within 180 days of your employer’s retaliatory act. Only after you get a response from this agency can you pursue other relief, including the filing of a lawsuit.
If you believe that you have been retaliated against due to exercising your rights under the N.C. Workers’ Compensation Act, please contact Hardison & Cochran without delay.