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What does state law say must happen when workers are terminated or quit?

As we've discussed on our blog before, Minnesota is considered an "at-will" employment state, meaning that employees are generally free to leave their jobs for any reason at any time.

It also means employers are free to fire employees as they see fit, provided the termination was not predicated on otherwise illegal grounds, such as discrimination based on age, race, disability, sexual orientation or membership in a protected class. 

Regardless of whether the termination is instigated by the employee or the employer, it's important to understand that there are other important legal requirements of which both parties should be aware.

Are employees or employers required to provide a notice of separation?

In keeping with Minnesota's status as an at-will employment state, the law does not require either the employee or the employer to provide a notice of separation under any circumstances. Despite this lack of a legal requirement, however, both sides often choose to supply such a documents as a sort of professional courtesy or to share otherwise important information.

If I quit my job, when must my employer pay me any wages owed?

If an employee quits, any wages owed by their former employer must be paid within the next pay period that occurs more than five days after their leaving. Employers need to be aware, however, that these wages must be paid out within 20 days of the employee leaving.

If I was terminated, when must my employer pay me any wages owed?

Minnesota law dictates that an employer has 24 hours to issue a check to a terminated employee who has demanded payment for any wages owed.

We will continue examining this important topic in our next post.

If you have questions about back wages your previous employer has yet to pay or concerns about possible retaliation, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

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