Minnesota employees may be interested in a case from 2008 where an employee was terminated as part of a ‘reduction-in-force’ who then questioned the rationale for his termination. In this case, as is the case of Minnesota employment, he was ‘at-will,’ which meant that he could be fired at any time for any reason. However, this case is much more complicated than that.
The employee has alleged that he learned that one of his supervisors was engaged in illegal activities at work, including false billing, selling stolen client property online and abusing client funds. He reported it to senior management and his company’s attorney, and claims that he was retaliated against as a result. These practices, including removing job assignments continued until he was fired. Despite his status as an at-will employee, he is still able to claim legal action is the termination violates public policy, as his claim of termination for reporting misconduct would.
At-will employees may often feel especially at risk of being let go for the wrong reasons. Legally, an employer can terminate an at-will employee at any time — and the employee can also walk away from their position at any time. However, if a termination follows circumstances as we see in this case, there may be reasons to question the validity of the termination.
Employees who have been harassed or retaliated against at work may be unsure of where to turn for trustworthy legal advice. Speaking with an experienced employment law attorney can help to present options to receive compensation for the loss of income and help to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the same workplace.
Source: Human Resources Journal, “Former Employee Alleges That He Was Fired For Reporting a Co-Worker’s Illegal Activity,” Dec. 5, 2012.