Mankato Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
In the US and in the state of Minnesota, employees have certain rights to a safe work environment and compensation in the event of an injury. A workplace injury is any physical damage or work-related illness that occurs on the job or as a direct result of the job itself. There are many diverse examples of injuries covered by workers’ compensation and there are different kind of benefits associated with those injuries.
However, many employers act against the best interests of the company and staff by breaking Minnesota worker’s compensation laws. Under these laws, you not only have a right to safety, but also the right to report your injury, file your compensation claim, and retain your position while receiving compensation. If your employer in any way tries to deny your workers’ compensation rights, they have broken Minnesota law and may be subject to penalties beyond simply paying their worker’s comp insurance premiums.
1) Asking You Not to File an Injury Report
You can’t file for worker’s comp if you don’t log or report your injury. If your employer tries in any way to stop you from filing an injury report on your workplace injury or illness, they are toeing the line of lawbreaking. They may tell you the injury is not serious or doesn’t really count. Ask for it to be filed anyway. The report won’t hurt anything and if any given excuses are correct, they can be worked out after the fact.
File your injury report within 14 days of the injury to be eligible for full benefits. If it is an illness, the clock starts at diagnosis and knowledge of it being work-related.
2) Asking You Not to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Filing an injury report doesn’t always lead to a workers’ comp claim. A minor burn or scratch that heals in a few days, for example, might be worth putting in the logs to prevent future scrapes, but any award or compensation amount could be too little to bother with filing a claim.
However, if your injury is serious or you are worried that it might be, it’s your responsibility to yourself to report your injury. Do not listen to your employer about why you shouldn’t. Sit down with HR, get the claim paperwork for your employer’s workers comp insurance, and get the ball rolling. Your employer is not allowed to stop you from filing, even if you have to go through a lawyer.
3) Leveling Consequences for Filing a Report or Claim
Unfortunately, many employers who are afraid of worker’s comp insurance premiums or bad safety records will sometimes punish an employee who has filed an injury report and comp claim. Sometimes they try intimidation to discourage your filing. Some try to force an employee to quit because they mistakenly think that their claim will no longer be valid. Some simply have a company culture of shaming or attacking those who are injured.
Do not let this intimidate you. Punishing an employee for an injury or workers’ comp claim is illegal and your employer can be held legally responsible.
4) Not Having Worker’s Comp Insurance
In Minnesota, with some limited exceptions, every employer must have workers’ compensation insurance, so that you can file a work comp claim if you are injured. In some states, there is a minimum employee number requirement, but not Minnesota. Generally, if you have an employer, they need to have worker’s comp insurance. Do not let your employer tell you that you can’t file a claim because they don’t have insurance.
Either they are already breaking the law by not having insurance or they are now breaking the law by lying to prevent you from filing a claim. In any event, even if they do not have workers’ compensation insurance, your injury could still be covered through the designated state program.
5) Claiming Your Injury or Illness Does Not Qualify for Worker’s Comp
Your employer may try to stop you from filing a claim by saying your injury is not enough for a claim. This is something to be determined by your doctor and it should still be reported. No one else should have a say and your doctor ranks the HR department. Companies often try to downplay injuries in order to pay less in benefits and insurance premiums.
6) Prevent You from Acquiring a Worker’s Comp Attorney
Finally, never let your employer stop you from hiring a lawyer. Even if you have already signed an agreement not to litigate against the company, you can still hire a lawyer to help you navigate the workers’ comp situation. And you should. Remember, worker’s comp is an insurance type. The insurance adjusters are not on your side, they are trying to minimize benefits to be paid.
A worker’s comp lawyer knows all the same insider tricks and rules, but they’re fighting on your side. Your company may discourage hiring a lawyer to keep their own costs low. But remember, it’s always up to you as the professional to look out for your own interests as well.
Is your employer breaking the Minnesota law by denying your worker’s comp rights? Don’t let that stand. Contact us today to speak to an experienced Minnesota worker’s compensation attorney. We will consult on your case and help you overcome the obstacles your employer is throwing out. You don’t have to put up with mistreatment or denial of your rights after a workplace injury. Our team would be honored to help.
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ Compensation Lawyer