Workers’ Compensation Retaliation

Many employees get injured at their workplace. Minnesota law requires that those injuries are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation insurance system and that employees are not retaliated against for filing a claim. 

Under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation law, all employers must own workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured. Coverage includes vocational rehabilitation, benefits when there is permanent damage to a person and medical care related to the injury or illness.

Workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of whether fault is assignable to the employee or employer. As an employee, however, it is your responsibility to report an injury to your supervisor or manager as soon as possible. After reporting your injury, the workers’ compensation benefit process begins. Next, your employer must complete a “First Report of Injury” form and provide you with a copy of the form. An employer must also provide you with the “Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System Employee Information Sheet” when it provides you with the First Report of Injury form. After this, the insurer will often investigate the claim. It is your responsibility to keep your employer informed as to your medical condition and coordinate with them regarding any work restrictions you may have as a result of the injury.

While recovering from an injury, many employees will need to go on light duty or request other work restrictions from their employer. While many employers work earnestly with their injured employee during this process, some employers are annoyed by having to accommodate work restrictions and begin to treat the injured employee differently than they did prior to the injury. Also, because some companies are self-insured for workers’ compensation claims, the costs of covering a claim can create hostility toward the employee.

Under Minnesota law, employers are prohibited from discharging an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, or taking other adverse actions against the employee, because of their work related injury.  In other words, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who exercises their rights under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation law.  Retaliatory actions may include:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Denying benefits
  • Failing to hire or rehire
  • Intimidation
  • Reassignment affecting promotion prospects
  • Reducing pay or hours

The workers’ compensation retaliation attorneys at Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP have litigated countless cases where an employee has been retaliated against for exercising their rights under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation law. Our attorneys have received favorable jury verdicts, negotiated settlements and otherwise successfully resolved claims for clients with workers’ compensation retaliation claims.  If you are experiencing retaliation in the workplace after filing a workers’ compensation claim, or if you have been terminated as a result of asserting the benefits due to you under the workers’ compensation law, contact one of our employment attorneys to discuss your potential case.  When you contact us, you will speak directly with one of our seasoned employment retaliation attorneys.