Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a stressful experience, especially when you’re concerned about potential retaliation from your employer.
That is why it is important to understand the protections in place for employees who file workers’ compensation claims in Minnesota and whether your employer can fire you after submitting your claim.
Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws protect employees
Minnesota law provides protection for employees who file workers’ compensation claims. The state’s workers’ compensation statutes state that employers are not allowed to retaliate against an employee for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. This means that if you file a claim, your employer cannot fire you, demote you or take any other adverse action against you solely because of your claim.
What to do if you suspect retaliation
If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, you have rights. The first step is to gather evidence to support your suspicions, such as documentation of your job performance, positive evaluations and any communication from your employer related to your claim.
Next, consider reporting the retaliation to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. The DLI enforces workers’ compensation laws in the state and can investigate your complaint. They may also provide guidance on other steps you can take to protect your rights.
When termination may be legal
While employers cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand that they can still terminate your employment for other legitimate reasons. For example, if your employer can demonstrate that they fired you for poor job performance, insubordination or other valid reasons unrelated to your claim, the termination may be legal.
Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws protect employees from losing their jobs solely for filing a claim. If you suspect retaliation following your workers’ compensation claim, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.