Can I Get Fired for Filing a Work Comp Claim?

If you’ve been hurt at work, don’t let the fear of losing your job stand in the way of getting the benefits you need. Employer retaliation for filing a work comp claim is illegal in Minnesota, whether you’re feeling pressured to quit or you’ve been threatened you’ll be fired.

Luckily, the Workers Comp attorneys at Fields Law Firm are on your side. We will take the time to listen to your situation and answer your questions, and we will provide you with confidential advice on what your legal options are.

Our Minnesota workers compensation attorneys will help ensure your legal rights to workers compensation benefits are protected – before and after your claim is filed.

Many of our workers compensation clients ask the question, “Can I get fired?” The short answer is No.

There is a law in Minnesota that prevents employers from firing employees for seeking workers compensation benefits. The law also states that an employer cannot intentionally obstruct an employee from seeking workers compensation benefits. This law is commonly referred to as the workers compensation retaliation statute. This is a type of wrongful termination.

The monetary benefits (also called damages) that a person can receive as part of a claim under Minn. Stat. 176.82 are different from those that a person can receive for their workers compensation claim alone.

For instance, workers comp benefits are limited to medical benefits, wage loss benefits, and rehabilitation benefits. Under the retaliation statute, an employee can receive punitive damages and damages for pain and suffering. Injured workers cannot collect punitive or pain and suffering damages under the workers compensation system.

There is also a difference in the taxability of workers compensation benefits and damages received by an individual in a retaliation claim. While workers compensation benefits are not taxable, damages received in a retaliation claim are taxable.

What if my employer threatens to fire me for filing a workers compensation claim but doesn’t actually fire me?

The language in the statute explicitly states that an employer cannot “threaten” to discharge an employee for seeking benefits.

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently upheld a case where a supervisor warned an employee not to file a workers compensation claim because it could jeopardize his employment. Schmitz v. U.S. Steel, No. A12-709 (Minn. Aug. 27, 2014).

Minnesota Supreme Court: Workers Compensation Retaliation Claims Can Result in Jury Trial, But Employers Have No Defense Based on Complaint Resolution Procedure

The employee was never actually fired, and no other adverse action was taken against him, but the court still awarded the employee damages.

What should I do if I was fired or harassed after getting hurt at work?

There are a few things you should consider when you suspect retaliation for seeking workers compensation benefits:

  • What reason did your employer give for the termination?
  • How close in time was the threat of termination to the work injury or the report of the work injury?
  • Are there any written documents regarding the termination? If so, save them.
  • Did any coworkers, supervisors, or other people in management roles make any comments whatsoever about your work injury? When and are there witnesses?
  • Prior to being terminated, were there any discipline or reprimand issues?
  • Is there an employment file that documents a history of good performance reviews or other positive information about you?

Wrongful termination claims are handled separate from an employee’s workers compensation claim. Not all workers compensation attorneys are able to help an injured worker pursue a claim under the retaliation statute. Do not give up on a claim under the retaliation statute just because a worker’s compensation attorney tells you they do not handle those types of cases.

Client Success Story

An operations manager at a large hotel chain broke a bone in her left foot when she slipped on wet floor. She reported her injury to her supervisor and continued to work. She developed severe pain in her foot and ankle and sought medical care about a week and a half after the incident. She returned to work and attempted to avoid duties that aggravated her pain, but, as a manager, she felt pressure to work beyond her restrictions to complete her work. Some weeks she worked more than 50 hours.

After a few months of working in pain, her employer fired her. She turned to Fields Law Firm for help. She was scared she would no longer be able to get the treatment she needed for her foot. Fields Law Firm helped her to bring a claim for wage loss benefits and for medical benefits related to her foot. We took the time to explain how her termination from her employment affected, but did not preclude, her entitlement to workers compensation benefits.

With our help, our client was able to get the treatment she needed and the wage loss benefits she deserved.

If you were fired, threatened or harassed after being injured at work, call Fields Law Firm. We would be happy to review your case and explain what you can do to protect your rights.

Protecting You From Wrongful Termination

At Fields Law Firm, our Minnesota workers compensation attorneys offer a free consultation to explain your legal rights and help you determine the best way to proceed with your wrongful termination claim.

We are one of the largest and most respected work injury law firms in Minnesota, and we’re here to help you get your benefits. If you have questions about your rights to file a claim, we have answers.

Just dial 1-888-343-5375 or fill out a free contact request form to Get Fields! on your side.

Workers compensation law is supposed to protect you when you’re hurt on the job. If your employer violates your rights, Fields Law is here to stand up for you. You’re not alone – we understand the emotional stress work injuries can cause, and we want to help you get better and get back to work.



John Kelley
John Kelley
21:38 16 Oct 18
I was having issues with an insurance company and I hired fields law firm. The people there are amazing and always quick to answer questions even a couple times on the weekend. I worked with Blake amazing person and very informative on my case. I would highly recommend this firm to any of my friends.read more
Michael Frazier
Michael Frazier
23:58 10 Oct 18
I had the pleasure to work with Michael and Annie on my LTD case. When my claim was denied by the insurance carrier, Michael didn't hesitate to take them on with an appeal. He worked diligently on the appeal and ultimately won this for me. Mind you, this wasn't a huge case but he treated me like it was and as if I was the only case he was representing. He kept me abreast of vital information, it was clear that he knew his stuff and wasn't afraid to take on the big insurance company. Michael was much more than I ever expected given that our relationship was entirely remote, handled by telephone and email only. Not only is he a strong lawyer, he treated me with compassion and respect. I am beyond pleased with him and the Fields Law team. Michael cares about his clients and he gets the job done for them because he knows how impactful an injury can be to both a person's well-being and their financial security. I highly recommend Michael and Fields Law whether you are local to their Minnesota offices or out of state like myself.read more
Melanie Eason
Melanie Eason
20:12 29 Aug 18
Fields Law Firm is great. Patrick Kramer, my lawyer, is fantastic. He and his legal assistant Samantha K. have handled my case for several years. They have kept me informed every step of the way. They are both easy to contact. I have both of their phone numbers and email addresses and they respond promptly to any messages I leave. Without their help I would not have been able to get the disability company to fulfill their promises. It is a relief to leave all the dealings with the disability insurance company in their hands.read more
Jeannie Kerr
Jeannie Kerr
23:37 15 Sep 18
My experience with Merrick Williams of Fields Law Firm has been truly above and beyond satisfactory. His knowledge and professionalism have guided me through a very difficult time. He and his assistant Angela were readily available to answer any questions and address my concerns. I highly recommend him as an attorney and will use his services again if necessary in the future.read more
ebon jordan
ebon jordan
19:51 27 Sep 18
Field Law Firm was great my lawyer Zach Schmoll was more than I could ask for. He always kept me in the loop and explain everything perfectly, got back to me whenever I called less than 24 hrs and was a extremely nice guy. This guy is young and knows what he is doing so please don’t let the age fool you. I had a wonderful experience with Field Law and will refer anyone with legal matters to them.read more
Edward Johnson
Edward Johnson
23:11 31 Oct 18
I highly recommend Fields law Firm if you need some no nonsense attorneys to represent you. I was treated courteously and efficiently each and every time by Mike and his associates. They settled my Long Term Disability case in a timely fashion. and was pleased with the results. Thanks again Mike and Fields Law Firm. You are the best!read more
19:19 09 Nov 18
Fields Law Firm is simply the very best when it comes to representing you & fighting for your rights! They are a "10 Star" Law Firm hands down! Michael Kemmmitt & Sarah Christensen were simply outstanding to work with. They took over my long term disability case after I was being denied my benefits & gave me the moral support & law experience that I needed to win my case. They were supportive throughout my case & they will fight tooth & nail to assure your rights are not being denied. It is so rare to find a law firm that treats you like YOU are the most important person to them. I HIGHLY recommend Fields Law Firm. They are truly advocates for justice.read more
Ben Chadwick
Ben Chadwick
23:20 12 Nov 18
Michael and Samantha were always giving me updates in a very timely manner. They were very good at getting back with me if I had questions, and they didn't have the answer at the time of our discussion. They were very thorough in their handling of my case, and we received a positvie ruling due to their efficiency and expertise. Thank you very much Michael and Samantha, I appreciate all that you did to help me with my case. I would definitely refer people to you, as well as use you in the future. Benjamin Chadwick.read more
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