When you are hurt on the job in Minnesota, you must tell your boss about your injury. This gives them a chance to look into the injury and pay your claim without resorting to hiring an attorney and taking legal action. There are a series of reporting deadlines imposed on injured employees. For each deadline that passes, the employee receives a penalty that makes it harder for them to make a worker's compensation claim.
The first big deadline that an injured employee faces is 14 days after the injury. Employees must notify their employers of an injury on the job within 14 days of the injury. Although the rule exists, the penalties for failing to notify within two weeks are pretty slim. First, an employer is not obligated to pay worker's compensation benefits until they have been notified of the injury, so the biggest penalty is simply a delay in receiving payment. Second, an employer may reduce compensation if they were prejudiced by the employees late reporting. This type of action on the part of an employer is rare, and Minnesota law is not clear on how compensation can be affected, but it is still possible that you may receive less compensation because you didn't tell your employer about your injury in time.
The next deadline comes at 30 days. Missing this deadline results in penalties that are harsher than those imposed at the 14 day deadline. After 30 days, compensation can be reduced if the employer has been prejudiced by the non-notification and the employee cannot provide a good reason for failing to notify. Although missing this deadline rarely results in an employee being denied benefits completely, it is a legal possibility.
The final deadline is at 180 days. If an employee does not report their injury within this time, then their claim will be barred completely. The only exceptions are when an employee is unable to provide notice because they are mentally or physically incapacitated, or when the employer engages in fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit.
The moral of the story is that if you are injured at work, don't wait to tell your boss. This is even more important if your employer has a policy requiring its employees to report injuries within a certain time frame. In a 2002 Minnesota Supreme Court case, an employer had a policy that required its workers to report on-the-job injuries before the end of their shift on the same day. One employee failed to report three injuries over the course of ten months. The employer then fired the employee for failing to follow the company policy and denied her worker's compensation claim. The Supreme Court upheld the employers decision.
If you get hurt at work, make sure you tell your employer. Then, if you are not getting the compensation you deserve, give us a call. We can help you get the money you need to pay the bills while you are hurt. 612-ASK-DAVE (612-275-3283).