My past job I got hurt and I have been doing the legal battles of it. On Thursday my work comp lawyer notified my of needing to be in court on friday. I let my boss know about it and he was fine but he wanted me to be back at work by 1pm because he was going out of town. Well I did not get out of court til 3:30pm. I went to pick up my wife since we are a one car family and she gets off work at 3:30pm and she only works 20 minutes from my job. Well due to traffic I did not get to her job til 4:15pm. I do not own a cell phone. But by the time I got home there was a voicemail from my boss. He was mad as all and swearing at me because his wife was mad at him. He told me to sit home the whole next week without pay and think about what I did.
Although I hear in your account the need to attend a hearing related to a worker's compensation claim, I also hear you to say your boss was fine with it. In the account you give, the main fault seems to be NOT with your having to attend court, but with your failure to communicate with your boss that court took longer than expected, and then, when you got out of court, your failure to call your boss to let him know you were going to pick up your wife. You say you don't have a cell phone, but that's no excuse; pay phones still exist. Probably also your lawyer had a cell phone which you could have borrowed to call your boss and tell him you were running late.
So if your boss wants to tell you you can't work for a week, and you don't have a contract which entitles you to work every day, and you don't belong to a union which has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement which covers you and prevents your boss from doing this, I know of no general principle of law that prevents your employer from doing what your employer did. It doesn't seem like this was retaliation in any way for your having to go to court over worker's compensation issues; instead, it seems like your boss was mad at you for failing to do something you agreed to do and failing to communicate about it even when you had the opportunity. So I don't see any legal claim here.
A Minnesota lawyer might have a different opinion, though, so let's wait for one to weigh in. I don't practice law in Minnesota and don't hold Minnesota licensure, so don't take what I say here as legal advice. It's just my two cents on the facts you present in light of general principles of law. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Minnesota licensure. That's not me.
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