In Minnesota, employees are considered “at will.” This means that an employer can fire an employee at any time, for any reason. However, the reason behind the termination still needs to be within the confines of the law.
So what exactly does this mean?
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, it means that while an employer does reserve the right to fire an employee, termination cannot be due to a person’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or any other discriminatory reason.
Of course, though, even though wrongful termination based on discrimination is against the law, there are still employers who skirt the rules, making decisions with the assumption that an employee will not notice or will not take legal action.
When it comes to wrongful termination, all employees in Minnesota should know they have legal rights and can hold their employers accountable for creating hostile work environments and treating them differently, including firing them for discrimination reasons.
Even in cases where an employer is saying legal action cannot be taken, those fired should not be so sure. Rather, talk with an attorney who handles employment law cases. This attorney will be able to look at the specifics of a case and provide guidance around possible next steps.
Additionally, if there is reason to believe the termination was due to another illegal reason, such as whistleblower retaliation, a lawyer will be able to provide more information on employee rights and what legal options may be available.