You know that workers’ compensation is meant to pay for your medical expenses and recovery time if you suffer an injury on the job. However, a friend recently told you a horror story that has you worried about what might happen if you file a workers’ compensation claim. You and other North Carolina residents should understand your rights regarding workers’ compensation retaliation and discrimination.
In your friend’s experience, he filed for workers’ compensation after a serious job-related injury that put him out of work for several weeks. When his rest period was nearly up, his boss informed him that he no longer had a job. Your friend felt that his employer retaliated against him for filing a workers’ compensation claim, instead of using his own health insurance like his boss had told him to do.
Employers often don’t like workers’ compensation claims
Firstly, you need to understand that you have the right to file for workers’ compensation before using your own insurance for a workplace injury or illness. Why was your friend’s employer upset with him for using workers’ compensation, you might wonder? As FindLaw explains, a workers’ compensation claim can raise a company’s insurance premiums. Therefore, many employers don’t like their employees to file claims, and they may discourage them from doing so – or they may not let them know the option exists.
The law entitles you to file a claim if you sustain an injury
It may reassure you to learn that the law prohibits discrimination and retaliation for claiming workers’ compensation. Your employer cannot fire you, demote you, make threats or give you false information about filing a claim.
The workers’ compensation claims process can be complex, and the insurance company may not accept your claim the first time you file. Your employer’s attitude may also be discouraging or daunting. For these reasons, it may help to seek experienced legal counsel.