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When filing a workers’ compensation claim leads to retaliation

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If you sustained injuries on the job, you might have hesitated to file a workers’ compensation claim afterward. Some employers retaliate against employees who do, and yours may be among these. Yet, your employer cannot legally take negative action against you because you filed a claim. Most employees in North Carolina have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. Thus, it is important to know how to fight for them when retaliation is in play.

Understanding retaliation

All North Carolina businesses employing three or more people must, by law, carry workers’ compensation insurance. Yet, some employers will use every means possible to avoid paying out benefits through it. Yours, for instance, might have terminated your employment while your claim was open – or after its approval. In either case, your employer’s actions qualify as retaliation, which both state and federal law protect you from.

Even if your employer did not interfere with your claim, it might have retaliated against you in other ways. Your employer may have:

  • Demoted you or transferred you to a less desirable role
  • Given you a poor performance review
  • Altered your schedule or decreased your work hours
  • Decreased your wages
  • Mistreated you or condoned the mistreatment of you

Moving forward from retaliation

If your employer retaliated against you after you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you have the option of pursuing a lawsuit against it. Furthermore, if your employer’s insurance company rejected your claim, you will want to appeal its decision. To do so in North Carolina, you have two years – after the date of your injury – to file a request that your claim be assigned for hearing.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be fraught with challenges. It becomes even more difficult if your employer retaliates against you for your actions. By seeking legal help, you can work to hold your employer accountable and receive the benefits you deserve.