NEWS / Legal News - May 2019

Employees can now file claims for discrimination due to work-related disabilities under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, in addition to workers' compensation claims

Daniel v. City of Minneapolis

Discrimination Claims

The employee had a work injury and alleged that the employer discriminated against him by failing to accommodate his work-related disability and also that it retaliated against him for requesting that his employer make accommodations for that injury.

The employer claimed that the employee’s claim was barred due to the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act’s provision that it is the exclusive remedy for injured workers to seek redress against their employers for grievances related to work injuries. The District Court denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed.

The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and overturned long-standing precedent that employees could not file claims under the Minnesota Human Rights Act for discrimination due to work-related disabilities.

In light of this decision it is imperative that any settlement of a workers’ compensation claim be accompanied by an employment release foreclosing all other potential non-workers’ compensation claims, including violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

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