Mass layoffs can violate rights of injured workers and increase risks of North Carolina work accidents

Employers took 1,412 mass layoff actions during the month of May, resulting in the dismissal of 135,789 workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

As our North Carolina work injury lawyers continue to report on our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, the tough economy presents a number of challenges to the safety of employees in the workplace. Employers continue to seek ways to reduce costs through layoffs, increased productivity, the use of temporary or contract laborers, and other means designed to improve profitability even if it comes at an employee’s expense.

Employees who have filed a work injury claim may be improperly terminated under the guise of a reduction in staff. In other cases, a reduction in workforce and an increased emphasis on employee productivity may lead to unsafe working conditions, unreasonable expectations or other environments that can increase the risk of a North Carolina work accident.

Mass layoffs are notorious for both hiding the illegal termination of a worker and increasing the dangers faced by the remaining employees in the workplace. Each of the mass layoffs last month involved at least 50 employees.

During the 30 months that span the economic downturn — from December 2007 through May 2010 — more than 60,205 mass layoffs occurred, resulting in the dismissal of more than 6 million workers.

In such an environment, an employee may also be discouraged from reporting a work injury or bringing safety violations to the attention of management. Reporting a work accident is critical in the wake of an injury on the job. Consulting a North Carolina work injury attorney can help protect your rights and the financial well-being of you and your family. Frequently, the full extent of a work injury is not known until months or even years after the accident and failure to properly document a work accident can leave you without the means to recover damages for medical expenses and lost wages.

If you are dealing with a work accident, contact the North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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