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Court grants workers' comp to injured woman who retired early

Anyone who has been injured on the job understands how an accident can affect a person's outlook for employment. The financial concerns of being unable to meet the demands of a full-time job can be very disconcerting. However, readers in North Carolina may be interested to read about one woman who was allowed to receive workers' compensation benefits, even after her early retirement.

The woman, who worked for AT&T Technologies Inc. for 35 years, was originally denied temporary workers' compensation benefits, because her employer claimed she volunteered for an early retirement program before her injury occurred.

After slipping and falling on a patch of ice on a loading dock, the employee needed to undergo surgery to repair her injured shoulder. Her request for retirement and salary buyout was approved and she accepted the offer, primarily because she could no longer perform her job with her injuries. Her employer said she was not obligated to accept their buyout offer, which supposedly precluded her from receiving workers' compensation benefits.

Yet an appellate court unanimously disagreed as it was determined that the injured worker had not voluntarily retired; rather, her injury had pushed her into an early retirement. Fortunately, the woman will now have the additional monetary compensation needed to make adjustments to her post-injury lifestyle.

Though some employers provide workers' compensation benefits without any hassle, there is a chance that legitimate claims for benefits will be denied, as employers may not wish to take on a necessary financial obligation. In these cases, it is important for workers to be made aware of their rights according to employment laws in North Carolina and consider pursuing the benefits they are owed.



  • Our firm has experience advocating for employees in workplace injury cases. If you would like to learn more about your rights after being injured on the job, please see our Greensboro workers' compensation page.

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