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This provision is intended to limit recovery for workplace injuries to the no-fault, statutory remedies provided by the legislature in the place of the former common law, fault-based claims for work-related personal injuries that often were defeated by common law defenses.Likewise, the Minnesota Human Rights Act contains an exclusivity provision "as to acts declared unfair" by that statute. W.2d 180 (November 3, 1989), the Minnesota Supreme Court struck a balance between these two exclusivity provisions, holding that the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act barred the employee's claims for disability discrimination under the Human Rights Act.
Notably, the majority's decision did not reflect the compromise struck by the legislature when it abolished certain common law defenses to such claims in exchange for the certainty and exclusivity of the injury compensation and wage loss schedules in the Workers' Compensation Act.
This ruling is likely to double recovery in some cases.
Rather, the statute serves the purposes of redressing discrimination in the workplace "as well as the loss of a fair employment opportunity because of the alleged failure to accommodate his physical disability." These "are alleged injuries distinct from the ankle injury suffered by Daniel many months before the dispute over accommodation arose." Justice Paul Holden Anderson dissented.
He stands by the court's precedent in which relies on three principles that are central to the operation of the workers' compensation system.
First, he states that the exclusivity principle is to be broadly construed, and exceptions should be rare and narrow.
Second, the court has historically refused to divide work-related injuries into personal injuries covered by the Workers' Compensation Act and the separate consequences of those injuries that are compensable outside of the act.The district court agreed, and the court of appeals affirmed the decision.On appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Mc Bee encouraged the court to look at the act under the lens of the ADA (which requires the parties to engage in an interactive process).Explaining that the Workers' Compensation Act deals with personal injuries, while the Human Rights Act is a civil rights law, Chutich wrote that, while the court was reluctant to overrule its precedents, it was apparent that the court in the case focused primarily on the remedies available under the two statutes and not on the nature or case of the injury.The Human Rights Act, the opinion states, is not intended to compensate an employee for physical or similar injuries.The Minnesota Supreme Court recently issued two decisions affecting employers in the state.In one, the high court overruled a 30-year-old precedent that excluded disabilities covered by the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act from the disability discrimination provisions of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.His department placed him on light-duty status, but, for reasons that are not clear, it would not allow him to wear his special tennis shoes.Daniel claimed that not being able to wear the special tennis shoes made it impossible for him to perform the light-duty job within his restrictions.In reaching that decision, the court expressed concern over the possibility of "dual liability" that an employer might incur under the two statutes.Recently, a 52 majority of the court, in an opinion authored by Justice Margaret Chutich in a case that went to the court on an interlocutory appeal from a grant of summary judgment in favor of the city, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the lower court and held that the correct reading of the two statutes requires consideration of the distinctions between the types of injuries addressed by the statutes.