The North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act (the “Act”) is designed to protect injured workers who are hurt on the job. If you have been injured in an accident at work, your employer must provide necessary medical treatment and disability benefits for the time you are unable to work. In these tough economic times, you may be reluctant to pursue a workers’ compensation claim out of concern for how your employer may react. When faced with this situation, you should know that pursuing a claim for benefits and compensation is your right under the law. You cannot be fired or mistreated for exercising this right. In fact, the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (“REDA”) prohibits an employer from discriminating or retaliating against an employee because he or she files or threatens a workers’ compensation claim.
The protections afforded by the Act come with certain trade-offs. For one, the injured worker loses their ability to sue their employer for negligence in causing the injury. The employee is limited to filing a claim through the North Carolina Industrial Commission and can receive only the benefits and compensation allowed under the Act. Often, this can result in less than full compensation for the damages the worker has sustained. For example, an employee is not entitled to compensation for intangible damages such as physical pain and emotional suffering under the Act. For this reason, it is important to understand who is legally your employer.
Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of temporary workers. Nationally, approximately 3 million people are employed by staffing companies every week, according to the American Staffing Association (ASA). Temporary workers currently make up roughly 2 percent of the U.S. labor force. Since the end of the recession, the staffing and recruiting industry has created more jobs than any other single industry in America, the ASA reports. Temporary staffing jobs accounted for 91 percent of total nonfarm job growth from June 2009 through June 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited by ASA. So, if you are a temporary worker assigned to work for a particular company, who is your employer? If you are hurt as a result of an accident caused by the negligence of the company where you are assigned, can you sue the company? The answers to these questions are crucial in making sure you receive all of the compensation and damages to which you are entitled. The attorneys at The Law Firm of John C. Hensley, Jr., P.C. can answer these questions.
If you have been injured on the job, contact the attorneys at The Law Firm of John C. Hensley, Jr., P.C. for a free consultation. We can help make sure your workers’ compensation claim is properly filed and that your employer pays you the benefits and compensation required under the Act. We can also evaluate the facts to determine whether there is another source of compensation for damages not covered by the Act. Put our years of experience representing injured workers to work for you.