Sometimes workers do not want to report injuries because they are afraid of getting fired or laid off. They may be nervous about asking for workers’ compensation benefits for the same reason.
What these workers need to know is that it is illegal for employers to fire or retaliate against workers who report injuries or apply for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation is in place to protect workers. Without it, workers could be left with expensive medical bills and no income. The program also makes safety a priority in the workplace.
Unfortunately, not all employers see the value of the program, and some do take retaliatory action against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. The retaliation may include:
- getting laid off
- getting fired
- losing hours
- docking pay
- losing health care
- losing other job benefits
When any of this happens, workers should speak to a lawyer immediately to discuss a potential lawsuit. In many cases, the treatment may be in violation of North Carolina’s Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA).
REDA was put into place to protect workers who have participated in a variety of government-workplace programs including workers’ compensation, and employers who violate the law can be held accountable.
Workers who have been injured or retaliated against may feel powerless compared to their employers, but they need to remember that they have the law backing them up. With the help of an effective lawyer, these workers can take a stand for themselves and others.
At The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C., we help injured workers get the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserve, and we help workers sue their former employer for wrongful termination if they were retaliated against. Learn more about our firm here.