Do I have legal rights if I was wrongfully terminated due to retaliation?

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Do I have legal rights if I was wrongfully terminated due to retaliation?

I had a work-related injury and filed a worker’s compensation claim. Since then the attitude towards me by my employer and a couple other employees has changed. Everything I do has been put under a microscope. I was supposed to be on light duty and never received that treatment; I was ushered back to work full duty like nothing ever happened. One employee even went so far and picked a fight with me in which I was assaulted in front of my boss. He did nothing to this employee. I’ve since been threatened with termination for things that were petty and out of my hands; then fired for using the word”hostile”..

Asked on July 25, 2011 North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is against the law to terminate an employee for filing a worker's compensation claim, and similarly, other retaliation against him or her is also against the law. You do have legal rights, and you can look to vindicate them by either contacting the appropriate state agency (e.g. state deptartment of labor, which, even if it's not itself the one to help you, can direct you to the appropriate agency) or by speaking with an employment law attorney--you may have a lawsuit to file. Also, you may possibly have a cause of action against the employee who attacked you, and/or against the employer if they either knew this person posed a risk, and/or did in fact encourage or direct his actions. Good luck.


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