Employers who do not follow the Minnesota workers’ compensation laws face significant penalties. The violations described below could prevent employees from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If you are worried that your employer is not following the law, you have some options for how to proceed.
There are a few violations of the law that lead to penalties for employers in Minnesota:
- Failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance;
- Falsifying insurance information;
- Late filing of First Report of Injury forms; and
- Failure to post required posters in the workplace.
Finally, employers that are self-insured for workers’ compensation can face additional penalties if they fail to pay benefits on time, fail to file required reports on time, deny benefits without a reason, or deny benefits without notice.
The insurance-related violations are particularly serious for employees because they could make it very difficult to receive needed workers’ compensation benefits. At a time when an injured employee needs help the most, learning that an employer has no insurance could be tough. Fortunately, the state Department of Labor and Industry can address insurance issues by fining the employer, reminding it to get insurance, and in some cases paying for the employee’s benefits out of a special fund in the meantime.
For failure to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, employers face penalties based on the estimated amount of the insurance premiums that they evaded paying. Minnesota state investigators factor in the type of business and the payroll in making estimates. Unfortunately, issues such as inability to locate the employer, bankruptcy, and lack of assets may hinder the state’s ability to collect penalties. Even if the state ultimately cannot collect from an employer, the special fund should cover injured employees’ benefits.
For other types of violations of workers’ compensation laws, Minnesota employers face varying penalties depending on what they did wrong. In general, you should alert your workers’ compensation lawyer or the Department of Labor and Industry (if you do not have a lawyer) about violations. If you suspect that your employer is violating the law in its workers’ compensation practices, you could be missing out on important benefits to help you heal from an injury. In addition, other employees could face the same if you do not speak up.
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.