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If an employer makes it hard to seek workers' comp, you can sue

Imagine that you are injured on the job. Maybe you work in construction and are injured by a falling debris, or you were asked to carry heavy objects and pulled or sprained a muscle. Serious work injuries -- as some Minnesotans know -- result in expensive medical bills and necessary recovery time, during which you cannot work. To help cover the expenses for your injury, you apply for workers' compensation.

Imagine next, however, that your employer is not supportive of this decision. In fact, your supervisor even threatened to fire you if you seek workers' compensation for your injury. What should you do?

In a situation like this, some people may think that it is better to keep their job than lose it over workers' compensation. What you may not realize, though, is that it is illegal for an employer to hinder an employee's efforts to obtain workers' compensation for a work-related injury.

Under Minnesota law, if an employee is threatened with job loss or terminated because he or she filed for workers' compensation, his or her employer can be held liable through a civil lawsuit. Not only that, but even if a supervisor tries to make it more difficult for you to obtain compensation, you could file a lawsuit seeking damages.

While we would like to think that most Minnesota employers are supportive of their employees, some would rather save a few bucks than help an injured worker get back on his or her feet. If you have been threatened by a supervisor for trying to seek workers' compensation, it is important to talk to an attorney who can help you file a claim and possibly consider a civil lawsuit.

Source: Business Management Daily, "Warn bosses: Don't punish for workers' comp," April 17, 2014

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