Have you been terminated from your job after suffering from a workplace injury? It is time to figure out your next steps. You are not alone in losing your job – other Minnesota workers have faced job loss and successfully moved forward with the help of advocates like their lawyer and doctor.
Terminated Because Your Employer Cannot Accommodate Your Restrictions
When you have medical restrictions from your doctor because of your workplace injury, your employer may not have a job for you. Unfortunately, some restrictions prevent employees from performing key duties of their old job, or from performing any job that the employer has available. At this point, your employer may decide to terminate your employment.
The workers’ compensation system can help you in this situation if you qualify for benefits. You can receive wage loss benefits while you look for a new job that will make up for some of the lost wages due to your termination. The employer’s insurance company will pay for your medical expenses while you job search. Further, you can request a rehabilitation consultation and potentially qualify for a rehabilitation plan administered by a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant. This plan can help you identify and find a new job.
Terminated for Filing or Pursuing Workers’ Comp Benefits
In Minnesota, it is illegal to terminate a worker because he or she files for or pursues workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer tells you that it cannot keep you on because you filed a claim or because you are fighting a benefits denial, you have a legal claim. At this point, you need to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer to figure out the best strategy. Sometimes, you may need to file a civil claim. Other times, you can use the legal violation as a bargaining chip in workers’ comp settlement discussions. Your lawyer will have the clearest insight on your next steps.
Terminated on a Pretext
Sometimes, employers terminate injured workers on a “pretext” – they make up or develop a reason for firing the employee that is not the true reason. The true reason may be the employee’s work restrictions, disability, or pursuance of workers’ comp benefits. The pretext may be any number of things: poor performance, violation of workplace policies, harassment of another employee, reductions in force, and more. If you have reason to believe that your employer fired you on a pretext, you need lawyers. You may need to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer and an employment law lawyer. These attorneys focus on different types of legal claims that may stem from the same termination of employment. While you work with your lawyers, spend time looking for a new job as well. You may be able to take advantage of QRC and vocational rehabilitation services.
Need help navigating the workers’ compensation system after your termination? 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.