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Terminating an Employee - Statutory Legal Concerns in Minnesota

1. Statutory Constraints

Your local, state and federal government may pass laws which restrict the employers ability to terminate an employee. The most common restrictions relate to terminations occurring for what legislators have determined to be discriminatory or bad motives.

2. Protected Classes

There are a number of local, state and federal laws that protect specific classes of individual from discriminatory hiring or firing based on their classification. These classifications including restrictions against discriminating on the basis of race, sex, color, disability, religion, age, sexual preference, national origin, ancestry, marital status, and even financial considerations if the employee is receiving public assistance.

3. Federal Restrictions

Federal restrictions may also apply. There are a number of federal statutes that also prohibit discrimination based on class. However, these statutes apply only to larger companies having 25 or more employees.

4. AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, (ADA) 42 U.S.C. A? 12101-12213

The ADA broadly prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.

5. Veterans Reemployment Act, 38 U.S.C.A? 2021

This requires employers to rehire returning veterans (including reservists) at their former jobs with the benefits they would have had had they not left to enter the service. This Act goes on to prohibit employers from discharging and veteran without cause within one year of the veteran's return from military service.

6. THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. A? 621

The ADEA protects employees age 40 or older from age discrimination of they employ 20 or more employees in each of 20 or more weeks the preceding calendar year.

7. The Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. A? 206(d) and MSA A? 181.66

Protects all employees from paying different wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs requiring the same skill, effort, and responsibility and which are preformed under similar working conditions.

8. Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. A? 2000e

Protects employees of an employer against discrimination based on the following classifications:

Sex

National origin

Religion

Race

Color

9. Reprisal is Prohibited

Employees are protected against reprisals against the employee for complaints related to discrimination or harassment. Minnesota Statutes 363.01 - prohibits reprisals based on complaints of discrimination. Additionally a state and federal Whistle Blower statute exists which not only protects employees from reprisals for reporting employer misconduct, it may also reward the employee in certain situations with financial payments.

10. PROTECTION FOR EMPLOYEES EXERCISING STATUTORY RIGHTS

Employees are protected if they are exercising certain recognized statutory rights which include the following: Parental Leave. MSA A? 181.941; Filing a Workers Compensation claim under MSA A? 176.001; Complaining of wage and hour violations such as overtime pay is protected under both state and federal law - 29 USC A? 215 and MSA A? 177.21; Involvement in an organized labor activity is protected under federal and state law - 29 USC A? 158 and MSA A? 179.12; Complaining of environmental concerns or violations is also protected under state and federal law. 29 USC A? 651 and MSA A? 182.65; Asserting a right to retirement and other employee benefits is a protected activity; An employee is entitled to review a copy of their personnel file at any time.

11. Review Policies Regularly

Any business owner or manger should review their employment policies and employee training regarding such matters on a regular basis.