North Carolina , like most states, requires that employers carry insurance or certify that they are self-insured for injuries to employees while the employees are “on-the-job.”
If you are injured while working:
- Immediately report the injury to your employer; the law requires notice to the employer.
- If your injury requires medical treatment, your employer’s insurance carrier is responsible for the medical expenses;
- If your injury disables you for more than seven days, you are entitled to receive total temporary disability benefits;
- If your injury causes you a permanent disability to any part of your body, you are entitled to receive compensation for that disability;
- You may have a right to a second medical opinion;
- You do have rights to receive your disability payments on a timely, regular schedule;
- If you’re injured but your employer won’t provide the compensation you believe you are entitled to, you have a right to a hearing before an independent deputy commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission;
- You are not required to show that your injury occurred as the result of your employer’s or anyone else’s negligence;
- You are not entitled to sue your employer for pain and suffering.
Can my employer terminate me after I file a workers’ compensation claim?
An employer cannot terminate you BECAUSE you filed a workers’ compensation claim. Under North Carolina’s Retaliation in Employment Discrimination Act (REDA), an employer may not discriminate or take any retaliatory action against an employee because the employee has exercised his or her rights under the Workers’ Compensation law.
However, an employer who does not have work for the employee within the employee’s physical limitations, may decide to terminate the injured worker and let the employee receive disability benefits instead.
If you believe that your employer terminated you, or retaliated against you in some other way, because you filed the workers’ compensation claim, you have the right to file a written complaint with the Commissioner of Labor within 180 days of the act of retaliation.