An article in the Winston-Salem Journal discusses “at-will” employment from an employer’s perspective. While the article focuses on what employers should do to avoid lawsuits, it makes a couple of important points.
Our Winston-Salem workers’ compensation lawyers have a little easier rule-of-thumb when it comes to how an employer can avoid costly lawsuits: Provide a safe and humane work environment and treat employees with dignity and respect.
“At will” employment generally means there are no promises about the length or term of employment and that an employer has much discretion when deciding to let an employee go or change the terms of compensation.
But it doesn’t mean there are not a wide range of state and federal rules that must be obeyed, concerning everything from overtime pay to workers’ compensation. Additionally, there are specific state laws that prohibit retaliatory acts against an employee who pursues a worker’s compensation claim.
In other words, an employee who is injured falls into a protected class and is afforded additional protections in the workplace. In other cases, an employee who reports safety violations or unsafe conditions in the workplace is also protected.
Yet none of these protections mean much if an injured worker does not seek the assistance of a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. An employer who is not held to the rules may as well have no rules at all.
As we said: The best way to avoid a lawsuit is not with written reviews and performance documentations (as this article goes on to suggest), it is to obey the law and treat people fairly.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a work accident in Winston-Salem, Asheville or Greensboro, contact the North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.