An on-the-job injury can be costly both in medical bills and time off from work. You want to file a claim with workers’ compensation for help with your injuries. Will your boss fire you if you do?
An employer is free to fire an employee for many reasons. Still, your boss cannot fire you for filing a claim for workers’ compensation. Once you go through the proper steps and file a claim, your boss cannot dismiss you for it. Such a filing is a protected activity under North Carolina law.
North Carolina is a “right to work” state
Keep in mind, however, that North Carolina is a “right to work” state. An employer can fire a worker who can no longer work because of an injury. There are certain reasons an employer cannot fire a worker, including:
- Race or color
- Disability or age
- Religious reasons
- Gender or national origin
You may also have protection through the Family and Medical Leave Act. Under this act, your employer cannot fire you if you take an extended amount of time off. If you are part of a union, your union contract may also offer some protection.
If your employer fires you
You may or may not have recourse in court. If you do not have an employment contract, you are working at the will of your employer. Your boss can fire you even if you are an excellent employee. You will need to prove your boss fired you out of retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.