Can I quit my job while on Workers Comp?

by Steve Fields | May 16th, 2017

It is against the law in Minnesota for employers to retaliate against an injured worker who has filed a work comp claim or is seeking work comp benefits. If you are feeling harassed by your employer or that they are creating a hostile work environment so that you will quit your job, call us. Do not quit. By quitting your job, you may be giving up your right to work comp benefits. With a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation attorney on your side, employers and insurers are less likely to engage in any action that can be viewed as retaliatory against you.

Minnesota law protects employees seeking workers’ compensation benefits from all forms of employer retaliation, including:

  • Denial of benefits
  • Demotion
  • Employee discipline
  • Termination or layoffs
  • Reduced hours or pay
  • Workplace intimidation

For many injured workers, their greatest fear is losing their job. People want job security, because we are all taught from a young age that getting fired or not having a job is a bad thing. However, having a poor work environment where your employer does not take care of you when you have been injured can be worse. After you have been injured, your biggest concern should be getting better.

As an employee, you are responsible for promptly reporting your work injury. If you are unable to report your injury immediately because you need to seek emergency medical treatment, be sure to report the injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Additionally, be sure to provide updated work restrictions to your employer. By fulfilling your obligations as an injured worker, you are protecting yourself and giving your employer fewer reasons to take any adverse action against you.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an employer to treat you differently afterwards. Some of this is natural, because you probably have work restrictions and the employer has to try to find a way to accommodate those restrictions. Sometimes employers also just don’t understand the work comp process, they don’t realize that their insurance will cover your injury, or they are worried that the claim is going to negatively impact them.

However, if your employer tries to prevent you from filing a work claim, or tells you not to go to the doctor, or to tell the doctor that you got hurt in a way other than how your injury really happened, that is illegal. That would be a violation of Minnesota Statute §176.82. Your employer can be subject to civil damages if they fire or threaten to fire an employee for seeking workers’ compensation benefits and your employer could be subject to a lawsuit against them personally.

Having a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

Oftentimes, simply having a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side will stop any harassment or negative behavior because your employer knows you have someone on your side who knows the work comp claim system. If you experience any negative employment action after suffering a work-related injury, you should contact us right away.

Co-workers can also be an issue. Your co-workers do not have the right to ask you any questions at all in connection with your work injury. The only thing that you need to communicate to your employer after your injury and after your First Report of Injury has been filed is your restrictions and whether or not you can do the job that they are offering to you. If your co-workers try to press you about your injury, you can tell them that you are not supposed to talk about it. If your boss or employer asks you questions, and you have a work comp attorney, you should tell them to speak with your attorney or their own attorney, if they have one.

If you are being harassed at work, get legal representation. An experienced work comp attorney can advise you on your rights and obligations as an injured worker. It is important to seek legal representation immediately if you feel in any way threatened or intimidated at your job for having a work injury. And, if you are being harassed by your employer after filing a workers’ compensation claim, to the point where you are wondering if you should quit your job, call us. We are here to answer your questions and help you get the benefits you deserve.