Just because a Minnesota resident has been terminated from their job does not mean they no longer have any rights. To understand what these rights are, it is important to know first what category one’s employment falls under.
An at-will employee is the most common form of employment in the country. This implies that employers and employees can both terminate their relationship with one another without any reason at any time. The only restriction is that termination cannot be for an unlawful reason or that it is not contrary to any agreement made between the parties. Unlawful termination could be found to exist if firing violates public policy, if it was because the employer was a whistleblower, if the termination is in pursuance of discriminatory practices or was against the term of an implied contract.
The other type of employment is generally considered an exception to at-will employment. These are for employees who have a written or implied agreement with their employer. When both parties mutually agree to the terms of employment and each party must fulfill their part of the bargain. For example, someone agreeing to work with a company for two years as long as their monthly salary is being paid and other agreed upon conditions being met. Such a contract can only be terminated according to the terms contained within the contract itself, usually with a notice period and steps to be taken during that notice period.
Terminated employees have the right to receive their final paycheck, whether or not they are at-will employees. Contractual employees may also have severance packages included in their agreements, as well as other benefits continuing to accrue to them post severance. Employees who have been terminated may also be entitled to continuing healthcare coverage for a specific period of time and some may even qualify for unemployment compensation.
An employee’s contract must be terminated for just cause, not just any reason as with an at-will employment. When someone has been let go from their job in a wrongful termination or their rights have been violated, they might want to consult an experienced attorney to discuss their legal options.