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Workers' comp claim: Is retaliation possible?

While worksite accidents are still common throughout the United States, the numbers are going down. According to data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were three illnesses or injuries for every 100 workers in the year 2015. That is down substantially from data collected in 1972. 

Anyone who has been hurt at her or his place of work needs to file a workers' compensation claim. Many employees forego this step because they fear losing their jobs. It is important for employees to follow the legal steps to try to receive compensation. Although employers should promote following through on the claim, some bosses out there will attempt to skirt around the law. 

What is the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act?

Employees injured on the job in North Carolina receive protection from retaliation with the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act. This law essentially states that employers cannot discriminate or penalize employees who file a workers' comp claim. Workers have 180 days to file the claim after the incident. Any employees who feel like an employer has broken this law should contact an attorney to review options immediately. 

What if the accident was the employee's fault?

Occasionally, an employee suffers an injury due to his or her own negligence. For example, the employer may put up a sign stating a surface is slippery, and the employee ignores it and falls down. Even under these circumstances, a worker can still file a claim based on the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act.

Can employers pay for medical treatment out of pocket?

This is a tricky area of law. Employers should pay for small medical expenses. For example, the employer should provide a box of bandages in the building for minor scrapes and cuts. However, for injuries that require professional medical attention, a claim is always preferable. Even if an employee would prefer to put the incident in the past, it is for the best for the injury to be on an official record. 

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