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176.82 ACTION FOR CIVIL DAMAGES FOR OBSTRUCTING EMPLOYEE SEEKING
BENEFITS.
    Subdivision 1. Retaliatory discharge. Any person discharging or threatening to discharge an
employee for seeking workers' compensation benefits or in any manner intentionally obstructing
an employee seeking workers' compensation benefits is liable in a civil action for damages
incurred by the employee including any diminution in workers' compensation benefits caused by a
violation of this section including costs and reasonable attorney fees, and for punitive damages
not to exceed three times the amount of any compensation benefit to which the employee is
entitled. Damages awarded under this section shall not be offset by any workers' compensation
benefits to which the employee is entitled.
    Subd. 2. Refusal to offer continued employment. An employer who, without reasonable
cause, refuses to offer continued employment to its employee when employment is available
within the employee's physical limitations shall be liable in a civil action for one year's wages.
The wages are payable from the date of the refusal to offer continued employment, and at
the same time and at the same rate as the employee's preinjury wage, to continue during the
period of the refusal up to a maximum of $15,000. These payments shall be in addition to any
other payments provided by this chapter. In determining the availability of employment, the
continuance in business of the employer shall be considered and written rules promulgated by the
employer with respect to seniority or the provisions or any collective bargaining agreement shall
govern. These payments shall not be covered by a contract of insurance. The employer shall be
served directly and be a party to the claim. This subdivision shall not apply to employers who
employ 15 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
History: 1975 c 359 s 21,23; 1995 c 231 art 1 s 30