Not every termination counts as wrongful termination in Minnesota. There are special circumstances that a termination must meet to count as wrongful termination. In Minnesota, wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee for reasons that are prohibited by law. Understanding what constitutes wrongful termination in Minnesota is important as you begin the process of seeking out legal counseling for a possible lawsuit.
What Wrongful Termination Isn’t in Minnesota
First, you should know what wrongful termination isn’t in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota is an “at-will” employment state, which means that unless an employee has an employment contract that states otherwise, the employer may fire the employee at any time, as well as for any reason, as long as it isn’t illegal or in violation of public policy.
Employers generally have the right to terminate employees who are not meeting job expectations or performance standards. This is as long as the reason for termination is not discriminatory or retaliatory. This would not be considered wrongful termination.
In addition, employers may need to lay off or terminate employees due to economic reasons, such as a reduction in force or a company restructuring, as long as the reason for termination is not discriminatory or retaliatory. If you’ve been laid off as a result of economic reasons, this would not be considered wrongful termination. However, employers have been found to improperly implement layoffs as a method to change up the demographic makeup of its workforce. In this circumstance, the layoff may be considered wrongful termination.
Another instance that wouldn’t be considered wrongful termination is if an employee is employed under a fixed-term contract, the employer may terminate the employment at the end of the contract period without it being considered wrongful termination. Also, if an employee resigns voluntarily, they cannot later claim that they were wrongfully terminated.
It’s important to note that while these situations may not constitute wrongful termination under Minnesota law, they may still be subject to other legal protections, such as unemployment benefits or severance pay, depending on the circumstances.
Discrimination Is a Common Cause of Wrongful Termination in Minnesota
Discrimination is one of the most common causes of wrongful termination in Minnesota. The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin or age, as well as a few other things.
Employers cannot make employment decisions based on protected characteristics. This includes hiring, promoting, disciplining, and terminating employees. If an employer fires an employee because of their protected characteristics, this can be considered discriminatory and potentially unlawful.
It’s important to note that, in Minnesota, an employee generally does not have to prove that discrimination was the only reason for the termination. If the employee can show that discrimination was a factor in the employer’s decision to terminate their employment, that can be enough to establish a wrongful termination claim.
If an employee thinks they have been wrongfully terminated due to discrimination, they may be able to file a claim with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or file a lawsuit in court.
What to Do If You’re Wrongfully Terminated
If you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, reach out to an experienced employment lawyer immediately. It’s important to note that there are time limits for filing claims, so it’s best to take action immediately if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated.
In addition, write down what happened leading up to your termination, including any conversations or incidents that may be relevant. Keep any emails, text messages, or other documents that may support your claim. Also, while it can be tempting to speak negatively about your former employer, it’s important to remain professional and avoid damaging your reputation or future job prospects.
Getting Help for Wrongful Termination in Minnesota
As soon as you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated, seeking legal counsel is highly recommended. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a claim for wrongful termination and advise you on the best course of action.
If you believe you’re the victim of wrongful termination in Minnesota, contact our team today!