Although Minnesota is an “employment at-will” state—meaning the employer may terminate an employee at any time for any reason—there are, in fact, exceptions to the rule. Since 1967 the Minnesota Human Rights Act has served as the State’s comprehensive employment rights law and provides a wide range of protections for employees. Yet even with the law in place, employers continue to violate employees’ rights in countless ways. Here are 20 of the most common violations for which an employee may seek monetary relief under the Minnesota Human Rights Act:
Discriminating against employees because of:
- their race, color, national origin, or creed.
- their religion.
- their disability.
- their age.
- their sex or gender (including sexual harassment).
- their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- their status as being single, married, remarried, divorced, or separated.
- the identity, actions, or beliefs of a spouse or former spouse.
- their receipt of government benefits (such as medical assistance, rental assistance, Minnesota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP), or public housing).
- their pregnancy.
- their childbirth.
- their disability arising from pregnancy or childbirth.
Employers also violate the law by:
- failing to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability.
- interfering with an employee’s pension benefits because of their age.
- seeking information that pertains to an employee’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to government benefits, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
- publishing an advertisement that relates to employment and discloses a preference or limitation on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to government benefits, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
- retaliating against an employee because they associated with a person or group of persons who are disabled or of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.
- retaliating an employee for filing a charge of discrimination with the Minnesota Department of Human of Rights.
- retaliating against an employee for testifying or participating in an investigation or hearing by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.
- retaliating against an employee for making a report that the employer is violating the law in any of the above ways.
In addition to the protections listed above, Minnesota employees are protected by other laws, including the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, Minnesota’s Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you believe your employer is violating the law, you may be entitled to monetary relief. Contact the employment team at Halunen Law for a free consultation.
Halunen Law attorney Colin Pasterski’s commitment to get the details right and provide thorough, professional representation has brought many favorable case outcomes. His focus on fighting injustice and providing the highest level of legal service guide his work every day on behalf of courageous employees and whistleblowers.