This blog has on previous occasions mentioned that several laws protect Minnesota workers from adverse action should they decide to report law violations to authorities. These so-called whistleblower laws are enacted at both the state and federal levels.
Most employers in Minnesota do their work honestly and within the confines of the law. However, what if you find that your employer has engaged in illegal activity such as wage and hour violations, misclassifications of contractors and employees, falsifying documents or committing fraud? You may feel that the right thing to do is to report these acts to the appropriate authorities; however, you may fear you will be fired for doing so.
Fraud is a word that has legal significance in a number of different practice areas. In the context of criminal law, fraud may mean the intentionally deceitful actions of a person to deprive someone else of their money. In the context of family law, it may mean the intentional deceit of a man into believing that he is a father's child.
As discussed previously on this post, employers have an obligation to ensure state and federal laws are being enforced in their workplace. Minneapolis employees rely on this premise when they come to work every day-the fact that their employers are adhering to all the relevant laws and creating a safe and discrimination free work environment. When this does not happen, perhaps the only way the relevant authorities will become aware of the situation is if someone will draw attention to it. Employees who report violations of the law in their workplace are known as whistleblowers and laws are in place to ensure they are protected once they take these actions.
The term "whistleblower" often pops up during salacious news casts about corporate misdeeds and major legal investigations. However, for as much as Americans hear it, many may not actually know what the term "whistleblower" means. A brief overview of this important employment law topic may give Minnesota residents a better understanding of why it can be hard for some individuals to take on such a role.
Although some may truly enjoy doing their jobs, most Minnesota residents go to work each day because they need to earn money to support their families. A pay check is an important part of keeping families afloat and securing the resources individuals need, so they can live their lives without fear of knowing where the food, shelter, and other requirements will come from. Not many people actively choose to engage in practices that could threaten their livelihoods and jeopardize their jobs.
Most parents teach their kids to do what is right and to step up when it seems as though something is wrong. This foundational principle is instilled in kids at school, through their activities, and as parts of their local communities. A Minnesota youth may carry that message with them as they grow into a competent adult and may take that value with them when they transition into their career.
There are thousands of good employees in Minnesota - employees who do what they are supposed to do and abide by the appropriate employment laws. However, there are some employers who violate Minnesota laws. When this occurs, some employees take it upon themselves to do the right thing and inform the appropriate authorities. Unfortunately, employees who take these actions may be subject to retaliation from their employers.
It can be hard for Minnesota residents to imagine a scenario in which they learn that their employer is engaging in illegal activities. But, the reality is that this type of situation can be more common than people think. When these situations do occur, some employees will feel compelled to step forward and inform the proper authorities. Those employees are making a brave choice - and they should not be punished for doing so.
Non-lawyers are frequently confused by the convoluted language used in legal language. In some cases, this involves words from other languages. In some circumstances, foreign words serve as a quick way to describe a type of legal action. For instance, under employment law there is such a thing as qui tam claims. What do Minnesota residents need to know about these types of legal claims?