Minnesota is one of several states that strive to help injured workers address denied workers’ compensation claims. As such, the state Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) offers several methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for involved parties.
In many cases, finding a remedy through ADR is faster and perhaps less stressful than litigation. However, it is wise for denied claimants to protect their rights throughout this process.
How does workers’ comp ADR work in Minnesota?
The DLI exists in part to protect injured workers from unfair treatment. One of the ways it does so is by offering several methods of ADR during a conflict. Below is a brief description of these methods.
- Customer services. Sometimes, an injured worker may find a solution by discussing their workers’ compensation issues with an authorized DLI mediator.
- Dispute certification. Before you can take administrative action for a problem, a mediator will attempt to identify and resolve the matter. If this fails, the mediator will certify the dispute, leaving you free to take further action.
- Administrative conference. When disputes arise regarding medical or rehabilitation services, an administrative conference allows the involved parties to reach an agreement. It is also usually the next step after a mediator completes a dispute certification.
- Mediation. Finally, the parties in conflict can seek free mediation services through the DLI when workers’ compensation conflicts arise. However, this method is voluntary, and all parties must agree to attempt mediation.
Sometimes, these methods may fail, leaving injured employees without access to the benefits they need. In these cases, learning more about Minnesota workers’ compensation laws and remedies can play a critical role in resolving your situation while also protecting your rights.