Often, Minnesota employees who get injured at work and then have work restrictions are fired from their jobs. Their employers explain that there is no modified work available that would follow the restrictions. If you are in this situation, you are probably frustrated and confused. Couldn’t your employer give you a desk job while you recover? How could a company be so heartless? Here is what you need to know.
Is It Legal to Fire You Because of Your Work Restrictions?
Unfortunately, your employer can fire you in some limited situations if you have work restrictions. In general, employers cannot fire their employees just because they have disabilities (which may include work injuries). Employers also have a duty to attempt to accommodate employees who have disabilities. Sometimes, however, it is just not practical or feasible for an employer to make accommodations. Accommodations are changes to your job or duties made because of your disability.
When Is It Unreasonable to Fire You Because of Work Restrictions?
The question of when an employer illegally fires you because of your work restrictions is difficult to answer. Determining what a reasonable accommodation is for your restrictions highly depends on your job duties, your exact restrictions, your workplace, your employer’s business, and other factors. For example, it may be reasonable for some employers to accommodate a lifting restriction because of your back injury, while in other workplaces you may not be able to do your job or any other job if you cannot lift.
If you have been fired because of your work restrictions (even if you suspect it but do not have proof), you need to speak to an employment lawyer. Talk to your workers’ compensation lawyer about how to find an employment lawyer near you. In addition, you may have a workers’ compensation claim against your employer if you can show that your employer retaliated against you for seeking benefits.
Can the Workers’ Compensation System Help After You Are Fired?
The workers’ compensation system in Minnesota is set up to help Minnesota workers find new jobs if their old employers cannot accommodate them because of workplace injuries. You can request a rehabilitation consultation with a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant. The QRC will determine if you can receive benefits such as job coaching, vocational testing, help with your job search, education, or retraining to help you get a new job.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.