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Worker May Not Be Demoted for Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim
Description Nebraska high court held that there is a public policy exception to the at-will law for employment that applies to when an employee is demoted for filing a workers’ compensation claim, as is their right under state law.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Workers’ Compensation; Benefits; Retaliation; Public Policy
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Trosper worked at Bag ‘N Save. During her employment, she suffered a work-related injury that required medical treatment. When she reported the injury under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act for a compensation claim, the company demoted her from deli manager to deli clerk and cut her salary by $7,600 a year. Trosper sued Bag ‘N Save for retaliation. The trial court dismissed her suit. She appealed.
Decision Reversed and remanded. The employers conduct in demoting an employee for exercising workers’ compensation rights contravenes the public policy of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. There is a public policy exception to the rule that at-will employees may be discharged at any time that gives an employee the right to sue for wrongful discharge if they are fired for exercising their rights under the Act. Similarly, an employee has the right to be free from retaliatory demotion for filing a workers’ compensation claim. That is a public policy limitation on the at-will rule of employment. Hence, Trosper has a case that may proceed.
Citation Trosper v. Bag ’N Save, 734 N.W.2d 704 (Sup. Ct., Neb., 2007)

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