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Think twice before firing workers’ comp applicant

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in Employment Law,Firing,Hiring,Human Resources

Minnesota employees are protected from being fired in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim. That means employers have to think twice before discharging such an employee for anything but the most solid reasons.

Recent case: Susan Kaufenberg worked for Schwan’s Home Services until she was fired for allegedly providing false information on a medical form she completed during the hiring process. She failed to note that she suffers from a neck injury.

But Kaufenberg wasn’t fired until after she filed a workers’ comp claim. She sued for retaliation.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals said her case should go to trial so a jury could decide whether the termination was related to her workers’ comp claim. (Kaufenberg v. Schwan’s Home Services, No. A08-1214, Minnesota Court of Appeals, 2009)

Final note: Always consider how a jury will view your actions.

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