When you have sustained an on-the-job injury, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, this is a single right among a plethora of rights that you can exercise. But what happens when an employer threatens to fire you or actually does it when you are seeking workers’ comp benefits?
This is what the State of Minnesota says your employer isn’t allowed to do:
- Threaten to terminate you for seeking workers’ comp benefits
- Intentionally keep you from securing benefits
- Terminate you for trying to obtain workers’ comp benefits
If your employer tries to do these things, they can be in a lot of trouble for violating the Minnesota Workers’ Comp Act (WCA). If they violate this very important law, you should tell your Minneapolis work compensation attorney as soon as possible.
You Have Rights
If your employer threatens to fire you or does fire you because you have sought workers’ comp, the following are the things that you can do:
- Produce a witness to the workplace injury
- Prove that the employer has made an attempt to prevent you from seeking benefits
- Prove that the employer caused you to delay your workers’ comp filing
- Show any communication your employer may have sent you in an effort to make you fear termination
The burden of proving that your employer threatened to fire or fired you because you sought workers’ comp benefits is on your shoulders. Your Minneapolis workers’ comp attorney will work with you in gathering the information needed to show that your employer violated the WCA. When you show that they violated the WCA, the burden of proof moves to the employer, as they need to prove that their actions were due to a non-discriminatory reason. If they meet that burden, the burden of proof moves back to you.
Holding Employers Liable For WCA Violations
An employer who violates the WCA can have a civil lawsuit filed against them so the employee can recover damages that they incurred because of their employer’s actions. The recoverable compensation may be the amount of workers’ comp compensation lost because of the employer’s actions, punitive damages, attorney fees, and other costs. If punitive damages are awarded, the employer doesn’t pay more than three times the amount of compensation the employee is awarded.
Even if it was a manager or a supervisor who terminated or threatened to terminate because of the workers’ comp flying, the company can be liable due to their responsibility in hiring and continuing to employ that person. Your Minneapolis work comp lawyer will cover all the bases in making sure you receive the compensation and benefits you deserve.
Contact A Minneapolis Work Compensation Attorney
As a worker in Minnesota, you have certain rights. One of those rights is the ability to file workers’ compensation without any type of discrimination or retaliation. In other words, you can’t lose your job for filing for workers’ comp. If you do, your employer could pay a penalty. If you need to file a workers’ comp claim or appeal or you are experiencing issues with your employer that violate your rights, it is best to have an attorney by your side. To learn more about your rights and options, call Fishman, Carp, Bescheinen & Van Berkom, LTD at 952-546-6000 to schedule a free consultation.