Martha: Hi I’m Martha Ramsay and I help injured workers. A lot of my clients ask me- is it illegal for my employer fire me if I file a workers compensation claim? So to help me answer that question I brought today my good friend Tamara Huckert. She practices employment law representing employees. So Tamra, what is the answer to the question is it illegal for a company to fire a worker because they file a workers compensation claim?
Tamra: Absolutely! Martha in North Carolina we have a specific law which says it is illegal for a company fire you because you filed a workers compensation claim.
Martha: What’s the name of the law?
Tamara: It’s called Reda, R-E-D-A (Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act). (Martha to turn the letters to spell REDA while Tamara talks)
Martha: So what does a worker have to do if they think their company has discriminated against them and they have a REDA claim?
Tamera: They have to file a claim with the North Carolina Department of labor asserting a REDA.
Martha: How long do they have to file a claim?
Tamera: It is a very short time. All REDA claims must be filed within 180 days of the discrimination. (Martha turn the block to show the number 180)
Martha: 180 days? That’s only six months.
Tamara: Yes, it’s a very short time limit. That’s why we encourage people to speak to an attorney quickly if there’s any question about discrimination.
Martha: So what are some common defenses that employer raises?
Tamera: The employer claims that they fired the employee because he didn’t show up for work, didn’t do his job, or because his work injury meant he couldn’t do that kind of work anymore.
Martha: So what can the worker recover?
Tamera: If the worker can prove all elements of their case they can recover lost wages triple damages and attorneys fees (turn boxes to show dollar sign).
Martha: The best advice is to call an attorneys office if you have any questions about your work injury or employment. Call me, Martha Ramsay, at the Ramsay Law Firm, (704) 376-1616 if you’re injured on the job.
Tamera: Or call me, Tamara Huckert, at Strianese Law Firm (704) 998-2577, if you have any questions about employment law.
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