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Time extended for whistleblower rights violations

Employees in Minnesota might encounter situations in the workplace that they are uncomfortable with or cause them to question the legality of the actions carried out by their employer. If an employee believes that their employer is violating some law in the workplace, employees are afforded the right to file a claim against their employer. However, some employees fear that they might be wrong or the aftermath of filing a complaint could result in employer retaliation. Due to these scenarios, whistleblower rights have been implemented to protect individuals who blow the whistle on their employers. Moreover, laws have been passed to address the concerns to initiate the original complaint.

Employees in Minnesota should understand the recent changes to the Minnesota Whistleblowers Act or MWA. These changes occurred late last year and resulted in an extension of the statute of limitations regarding when a complaint must be filed. Previously, plaintiffs were required to file a complaint within two years of the alleged violation. The recent ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals allowed for the two-year window to be extended to six years.

The MWA provides that if an employee reports a violation by an employer in good faith and they experience acts of retaliation by their employer for reporting this violation, they now have six years to file an action. According to the statute, this protects the employee from discharge, discipline, threats, acts of discrimination or any other acts carried out to penalize an employee fro reporting a law violation by an employer.

The extension to the length of time an employee has to file a whistleblower complaint comes shortly after the scope of the statute was expanded in Minnesota and should help employees file a claim for an alleged violation of the MWA. Those unsure whether they have grounds to file an action should learn more about their situation and legal rights and remedies. This could help them file a cause of action, which could result in compensation to cover damages and losses caused by retaliation.

Source: Business Management Daily, "The Minnesota Whistleblower Act: More time-and more protection-for whistle-blowers," Susan Fitzke, Sarah Gorajski and Anthony de Sam Lazaro, May 6, 2015

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