Many injured workers believe that their worker’s compensation claim is solely on them and their lawyer. However, while in many facets this is very much true, there are many parts to a successful worker’s compensation case that falls, not to you, but your employer. Your boss or supervisor has certain obligations when it comes to the worker’s compensation process that greatly helps your claim. Sometimes they might forget about some of these responsibilities, but by knowing them, you can make sure that your worker’s compensation claim stays on track.
What Employers Need to Do For Worker’s Compensation?
Alongside actually having the worker’s compensation insurance that every business in Minnesota is legally required to have, when an accident occurs, this is what your employer should take care of.
- Provide Medical Care – Immediately after the injury has occurred, your employer should take the necessary steps to provide you with medical care. This could be calling an ambulance or even driving you to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. This duty can be fulfilled by another employee if given leave to do so, but they legally must allow you to seek medical treatment.
- File Injury Reports – After any workplace injury, your superior needs to file an accurate injury report and file it with the proper agencies within the company as well as a local worker’s compensation board office. This step is crucial and workers will want to make sure it is done as it can be used as proof in their case.
- Provide Necessary Information – When injured, a worker has the right to request certain information, such as maintenance records for malfunctioning machinery that injured them or pre-injury wage statements. Your employer has a legal responsibility to reply with accurate information.
By failing or actively preventing any of the above, your employer can be considered noncompliant with worker’s compensation laws and regulations. If your employer is not living up to their duty in the worker’s compensation process, you should consult with your lawyer on what actions to take. Each case and each employer’s actions are different, but sometimes all it takes is the threat of a little legal action to spur them in the right direction.
Employer Retaliation and Worker’s Compensation
The above employer responsibilities are important to your health and the health of your worker’s compensation case, but an employer has one last duty that they need to comply with when it comes to worker’s compensation – the duty not to retaliate.
Often if you find that if your employer is not particularly compliant with your worker’s compensation claim that they fight you on all things. However, “fighting” you on various aspects of your job can be dangerously close to discrimination or retaliation. Under worker’s compensation law, both employers and employees are protected from discrimination, harassment, termination, or any kind of retaliatory behavior because of an injury.
However, just because it is illegal doesn’t always mean an employer will comply. When this is the case, you can consult with your lawyer about taking civil actions in the form of a retaliatory discharge tort. Discrimination for worker’s compensation claims is illegal, but not altogether uncommon. This is why workers need to take steps to make themselves knowledgeable on an employer’s responsibility in the process and all the forms that discrimination can come in so that they know when to talk to their lawyer.
If you have been hurt at work in the St. Paul area, contact us today. The Law Office of Joshua Borken is dedicated to representing the rights of injured workers so that they can get the compensation for their injuries that they deserve.