Minnesota injured workers rights after being terminated by their employer.
Minnesota Injured Workers Have Rights After Termination | Minnesota Workers Compensation Attorneys
A work-related injury can throw a wrench into an employee’s employment relationship. For various reasons, an employer may terminate an injured worker even though they have not fully recovered from their work-related injury. In certain situations, not only may the employee recover workers’ compensation benefits, there may also be other additional claims that may be made under an employment law action. An experienced Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney can help you with your claim.
Minnesota is an “at will” state.
In Minnesota, an employee is considered “at will” if they are hired without a contract. What this means is that an employee can quit for any reason, an employer can fire them for any reason as long as that reason is not illegal including based on discrimination of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or marital status. There are several different laws in Minnesota and also federally which would protect an employee’s rights. If you believe that you have been terminated for any of these reasons, it is best to speak with an employment law attorney.
Wages after a termination.
A terminated employee is to be given a paycheck within 24-hours of the employee’s demand for wages. If the employee quits, wages are due within the next pay period that is more than five days after quitting, however, wages must be paid within 20 days of separation.
If the discharged employee was entrusted with property, such as keys, vehicle, etc., that is to be returned and the employer shall have an additional 10 calendar days after the date of the employee’s separation to audit the accounts of the employee before the employee’s wages are to be paid.
Benefits such as vacation, sick, or severance may be paid but are based on company policy. Benefits are typically paid within 30 days if they are owed. If owed and not paid, the employee may file a claim for benefits in conciliation court.
Reason for termination.
An employer must give a truthful reason for why the employee was terminated. The employee may request in writing the reason for their termination. The request must be made in writing by the employee within 14 working days of the termination. The employer then has 10 working days to give a truthful reason, in writing, for the termination. Failure to provide the written rationale can warrant a penalty.
Retaliatory discharge for a work-related injury.
Under Minnesota law, specifically, Minn. Stat. § 176.82, an employee may bring an action for civil damages based on a retaliatory discharge. Any injured worker discharged or threatened to be discharged for seeking workers’ compensation benefits, or in any manner intentionally obstructing the injured worker from seeking workers’ compensation benefits, would be liable in a civil action for damages incurred by the employee, including any reduction in the workers’ compensation benefits caused by the violation including costs, reasonable attorney fees, as well as punitive damages not to exceed three times the amount of any compensation for which the employee would be entitled to.
Workers’ compensation benefits after being discharged.
If an injured worker has been terminated following a work-related injury, they would still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
First, the injured worker may still be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. This will depend on several things, including whether the employee is at maximum medical improvement and whether the termination was for misconduct. The law to preclude an injured worker from wage loss due to misconduct indicates that the misconduct must constitute willful or wanted disregard of the employer’s interests having been found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect.
The employee may also be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits if they find employment which does not reach their preinjury wages.
With respect to medical and rehabilitation, those benefits should continue regardless of the termination. The standard in Minnesota is whether the work injury continues to be a substantial contributing cause to the need for treatment and whether the treatment is reasonable, necessary and causally related.
Talk with Minnesota Workers Compensation Attorney Jerry Sisk
The insurance company knows your rights, do you? Talk to a Minnesota workers’ compensation lawyer today by calling (855) 354-2667. It is a free consultation and there is no obligation to retain a lawyer. You can discuss your case with a lawyer and obtain the advice you need to get your life back on track.
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