This is one of the questions I get quite often during my practice. It is also one of the toughest questions to answer. It is well known under Minnesota Workers’ Compensation law that an employer cannot terminate an injured worker for bringing a workers’ compensation claim. The law states specifically that an employer cannot retaliate against the employee.
Unfortunately, it is not normally that simple.
Typically, I see situations where a worker gets harassed, intimidated and put in uncomfortable situations after a work-related injury. In some situations, I refer these workers to employment law attorneys to discuss what rights may have been violated. In some situations, the available recourse goes beyond what workers’ compensation would allow. Therefore, in some situations it is necessary to talk to an employment law attorney.
Ironically, it is not always in the employer and insurer’s best interest to let an injured worker go. An employer and insurer can limit their liability by keeping the injured worker on and finding available work for them. Often times, this is in the best interest of all parties. However, sometimes this does not work out.
As I have noted above, an employer cannot retaliate or threaten to discharge an injured worker for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. They may also not intentionally obstruct an employee from seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
If you feel that you have been retaliated against for seeking, filing or receiving workers’ compensation benefits, please feel free to contact us at the Law Office of Thomas D. Mottaz (763)421-8226 to discuss your available options. Not only may you be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you may also be entitled to civil damages.