In Minnesota, employers abide by the FMLA or Family Medical Leave Act. During an open workers’ compensation claim, an employee has protection. These protections do not allow employers to abuse or terminate workers after a workers’ compensation claim. Many employees fear retaliation but there are statutes in place to ensure that retaliatory firing or discipline does not happen.

There are rules that Minnesota employees have to follow. According to Minnesota Statutes, an employer can require his or her employee to receive supplies or treatment as part of a managed care plan. An employer may also have an employee receive prescription and nonprescription medicine from his or her network of pharmacies. The one stipulation is that these pharmacies have to be within 15 miles of the employee’s home.

Under the FMLA, an employee cannot suffer termination due to absenteeism while on medical leave. An employer cannot fire an employee unless the employee exhausts the FMLA benefits. The protections also provide an employee with a safety net in regards to his or her vacation, PTO and sick leave. An employer cannot use these benefits to pay workers’ compensation benefits. While you cannot lose your benefits due to a workplace injury, an employer does not have to let you accrue more while you are out on medical leave.

If you are able to return to your prior job, your workers’ compensation case is not a valid reason for employee termination. If you are unable to return to your job due to the injury, however, you may receive wage-loss benefits or rehabilitation services.

This workers’ compensation information is for education only. Do not use this information as legal advice.