Some people who get hurt on the job in North Carolina think they should avoid filing a workers’ compensation claim at all costs. Often, these workers worry about retaliation from their employer or looking like a bad employee.
However, it is actually illegal for a company a discriminate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you need benefits, your employer should not fire you or otherwise try to punish you for making use of the protection that they have long paid for on your behalf.
Although it may seem counterintuitive at first, filing a workers’ compensation claim can actually be a way for you to protect your job. How does a workers’ compensation claim help you keep working?
1. It can help you request accommodations
Whether you working in an office or on the factory floor, your injury or medical condition might make it painful or difficult for you to do your job as usual. When you have an active workers’ compensation claim and a doctor managing your care, you may have documentation that can help you get support at work.
You may qualify for special accommodations based on what your doctor recommends. From a transfer to a different position to ergonomic technology and remote employment options, there are many ways that your employer can allow you to continue working without putting you at risk of worsening your injury.
2. It explains the change in your performance
Few things might put your job at risk more quickly than a sharp decline in your productivity. If your pain or condition-related limitations have started to affect your work performance, your employer might initiate progressive discipline efforts or put together an employee performance improvement plan.
If you are not able to bring your productivity back up to the level you maintained prior to your injury, you might face reduced opportunities or even the loss of your job. When the company knows that your performance issues relate to a job injury, they are less likely to punish you for those changes.
If you must take time off of work, you can sometimes qualify for disability benefits in addition to workers’ compensation paying for your treatment. Pursuing a worker’s compensation claim can be helpful in many ways for someone recently injured on the job.