Under Minnesota law, if you are injured at work or suffer a work-related injury, you have the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.82:
“Any person discharging or threatening to discharge an employee for seeking workers' compensation benefits or in any manner intentionally obstructing an employee seeking workers' compensation benefits is liable in a civil action for damages incurred by the employee . . . .”
Thus, Minnesota law provides that an injured employee may seek workers' compensation benefits without any interference or retaliation from their employer. If your employer attempts to dissuade you from applying for benefits or retaliates against you such as terminating you from employment, reducing your hours, or has taken other punitive actions after you’ve been injured or sought out benefits, then your employer has broken the law.
The statute, by its terms, applies to “any person” who performs a prohibited act. This includes the employer who discharges or threatens to discharge an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The statute also applies to the activities of the workers’ compensation insurer. See Bergeson v. U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co., 414 N.W.2d 724 (Minn. 1987).
If you feel that your employer (or someone else) has retaliated against you for seeking workers compensation benefits or interfered with your ability to obtain workers compensation benefits, please call our office at 651-493-0429 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.