The short answer is NO, not legally. Your employer cannot legally terminate you because you had a work injury or because you hired an attorney. You are entitled to know your legal rights and to file a legitimate claim for a work injury.
However, do not let the above facts confuse you into thinking that your job is protected because you got hurt at work, because that is not the case. Sustaining a work injury in and of itself does not protect your job. North Carolina is an at-will employment state, meaning that you can be terminated for no reason at all, which could make any recourse on termination difficult. You are still subject to termination for all of the same reasons your employer could have fired you without a work injury. For example, being late to arrive at work, missing too much time from work, theft in the workplace, or making errors on the job. In summary, though your employer cannot legally terminate you because of your work injury or because you hire an attorney, you are not given “extra” protection at work from termination just because you got hurt on the job.
In the event you have FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) available through your employer, you could complete this paperwork with your doctor to help protect a job with your employer for a certain period of time.
The laws and legalities surrounding a Workers’ Compensation claim can be very overwhelming, and honestly, they are not designed to be clear to a non-attorney or even an attorney who is not an expert in Workers’ Compensation. If you were involved in a work accident, we would encourage you to contact us to schedule a free consultation with Attorney/Owner, Maggie Shankle. You need to make sure that YOU are protected, and we can help educate you on your rights surrounding your injury.