Can my Employer terminate me for pursuing workers’ compensation benefits?
In Minnesota, employers cannot terminate you or threaten to terminate you for simply seeking workers compensation benefits. See Minnesota Statute Section 176.82. This statute makes it unlawful, and exposes the Employer to civil remedies for a separate employment law case, if the Employer decided to wrongfully terminate an injured worker, or threatened to terminate an injured worker, simply for reporting a work injury or seeking workers compensation benefits.
However, this does not mean that an Employer has to keep an injured worker employed regardless of their ability to work with or without work restrictions, or if the employee has been totally restricted from work. Put another way, an Employer can terminate an employee for any non-prohibited reason, even if that person is an injured worker, receiving workers compensation benefits under the Minnesota Worker’s Compensation act.
Simply having a work injury does not give an injured worker a ticket to avoid any termination from employment. However, if an Employer terminates the injured worker for seemingly no reason at all, and especially if it is near the time when someone seeks workers’ compensation benefits or if an employer makes a comment that makes it seem related to seeking workers compensation benefits, then that injured worker should be on notice that the termination could be related to the Worker’s Compensation claim. And if the termination is related to the injured workers seeking workers’ compensation benefits, that termination would be unlawful and the injured worker may have an employment law claim for wrongful termination under Minn. Stat. 176.82.
It is important to note, however, that generally most Employers will not terminate an injured worker if they are simply unable to currently work due to their work-related injury work restrictions. The industry practice is often that Employers will wait and see the nature and extent of the injury to see if the injured worker can come back and do their date-of-injury job.
If you are seeking or receiving workers compensation benefits and you become worried that your Employer may terminate you because of that, we strongly encourage you to seek the advice of an experienced attorney, to advise you of your rights under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act, as well as to determine if you may have an employment law claim for wrongful termination. It is very important that injured workers protect their interests against sophisticated Employers and Insurers.
Sometimes, as part of the workers compensation settlement agreement, Employers/Insurers will ask an injured worker to depart their employment as part of a full, final, and complete settlement in the workers compensation system. However, it is important to seek advice of counsel to advise you of your rights, as well as the benefits that you might be eligible for, as well as an ability to potentially leave on your own terms, instead of being forced out by an Employer, especially for an unlawful reason.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team Handles a Wide Variety of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Claims.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team handles cases involving car accidents, trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian car accidents, and bicycle accidents. It has many years’ experience in workers compensation , products liability and medical malpractice cases.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has extensive experience with concussion injuries, traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, whiplash injuries, broken bones, injured joint injuries (knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, ankle, spinal), amputation injuries, and vision and eye injuries.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has offices through out the State of Minnesota. Its primary location is at Ridgedale Office Center in Minnetonka, near the intersection of I394 and I494. The offices are handicap accessible with ample parking.
The Schmidt Salita Team Offers Contingent Fee Arrangements.
The firm offers contingent fee agreements (You don’t pay lawyers fees until you collect and then only as a percentage of the settlement). It also offers home and hospital visits to clients whose injuries present difficulty in coming to the office.
“PERSONAL INJURY WITH PERSONAL ATTENTION TO EACH CASE”.
The Schmidt Salita Law Team has locations throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Osseo, Anoka, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Blaine, Shoreview, Woodbury, Falcon Heights, Columbia Park, Stillwater, Hastings, Inver Grove, Cottage Grove, South St. Paul, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Savage, Shakopee, Richfield, Bloomington, Chaska, Chanhassen, Edina, Eden Prairie, and Hopkins.