Q. Is there any limitation on how long workers’ compensation leave may go on?
A. Although the thrust of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is to encourage employees to heal and return to the workplace as expeditiously as possible, the act does not technically mandate that injured employees receive leaves of absence in order to convalesce.
Thus, there is no specific limitation on how long (or short) leave must be. However, an employer that disallows leave may be liable for retaliation. Moreover, such an employer may be liable for disability payments for a much longer time than expected if an employee is terminated and, as a result, cannot return to his job.
Availability of benefits, though, is generally contingent upon an employee’s ability and willingness to return to work.