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What Is Workers’ Compensation Retaliation?

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Posted By KSK Law | July 31 2023 | Workers Rights, Workers' Comp

Workers’ compensation retaliation is an unlawful practice where employers punish employees who have exercised their right to file a workers’ compensation claim following a workplace injury.

This punishment can come in many forms, from unfair dismissal and demotion to less apparent practices such as workplace ostracism or negative alterations in job duties. If you are injured at work, it is important to recognize the signs of retaliation and speak to a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

Your Rights as an Injured Worker in Minnesota

In Minnesota, people who are injured at work have the right to file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. State law requires all businesses with at least one employee, including part-time workers, to carry this insurance in case someone is harmed on the job. 

By filing a workers’ comp claim, you can recover benefits to pay for:

  • Reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to the workplace injury
  • Transportation to and from medical treatment
  • Temporary disability benefits while you are recovering from the injury
  • Permanent disability benefits if you suffer an impairment as a result of your accident
  • Vocational rehabilitation, if you need help finding another job after the accident

What Does Retaliation Look Like After a Workplace Injury?

As a worker in Minnesota, you are protected under state and federal laws from retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim. In addition, the Minnesota Human Rights Act protects employees from discrimination, which includes any unfavorable treatment stemming from a worker’s comp claim.

Retaliation can be blatant or subtle. It may involve actions such as wrongful termination, demotion, reduction in wages, unfavorable shift changes, or exclusion from training opportunities. 

More subtle forms of retaliation might include increased scrutiny, unjustified negative performance evaluations, or a sudden change in the nature of your job duties. In some cases, your employer could fail to allow you time to seek medical treatment or threaten to fire you for even filing a claim.

Your Legal Options After Workers’ Comp Retaliation

If you experience retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim, you have the right to seek legal redress. Firstly, report the retaliation to your human resources department, providing as much documented evidence as possible. If the situation remains unresolved, you can file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Moreover, you could take legal action against your employer by filing a lawsuit in civil court. The court may grant remedies such as reinstatement, back pay, and other compensatory damages, and order the employer to cease any retaliatory behavior. However, it is important to keep in mind that these cases can be complex, and you may need the help of an attorney who can build a compelling case in your favor.

Reach Out to a Minneapolis Workers’ Comp Attorney

Experiencing retaliation after a workplace injury can be distressing and overwhelming. However, you don’t have to navigate these challenging circumstances alone. In these situations, a Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney can protect your best interests and help you seek the justice that you deserve.

An attorney can help you gather evidence to prove that the retaliation occurred, craft a strong case for the courtroom, and negotiate aggressively on your behalf. After seeking medical attention for your workplace injury, schedule a free consultation with a Minneapolis workers’ compensation lawyer to plan your next steps.

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