In most cases, one of the last things a Minnesota worker wants to see is a severance agreement. Usually, an employer will hand one of these contracts to their employee as she is, at least figuratively, being shown to the door of her workplace after a firing or a layoff. Amid the stress and fear associated with being without a reliable income, it may be tempting for a Minneapolis resident to sign a severance agreement on the spot, especially if the agreement involves a few extra weeks or even months of compensation.
A former Minnesota running coach who says the University of Minnesota-Duluth forced her into resignation has now filed a wrongful termination case against the University's official leadership. In addition to wrongful termination, the coach also raised several other allegations based on sex and gender discrimination, including allegations of unequal pay and a hostile work environment.
While this blog has discussed it on previous occasions, it may be helpful to review the basics of Minnesota's wrongful discharge claim, which is available to employees under the common law of Minnesota. Sometimes, Minneapolis residents might get confused about the difference between wrongful discharge and other legal claims based on an illegal or discriminatory firing.
Like most other states, Minnesota is what the law calls an "at-will" state. In general, this means that an employer, at least a non-unionized workplace, can fire an employee at any time and for just about any reason. Likewise, an employee is allowed to quit work at any time and for any reason.
While private industries in Minnesota and across the nation are confronted with allegations of employment law violations, it can happen with federal and state agencies too. If an employee believes he or she was subjected to wrongdoing at the hands of employers, it is important to know what steps to take to recover compensation for that mistreatment and illegal behaviors. Understanding how to move forward with a case in which there were allegations of discrimination, retaliation and more requires legal advice.
An employee at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of the Inspector General is claiming he faced retaliation in the workplace, which ultimately lead to his termination, for blowing the whistle on racial bias in the enforcement division of the DHS. Ironically, the man's position in the agency was equity coordinator. He has since filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) based on discrimination and wrongful termination.
Not every instance of wrongful dismissal in Minneapolis takes place when an employer unlawfully retaliates against a worker. Sometimes an employer's actions are subtler. It may start with one or two ways that make working for that employer difficult, but if an employer makes the workplace so unbearable that a worker feels they can no longer work there, under certain circumstances the worker may have been subject to constructive dismissal.
Losing one's job can be a difficult event in the life of a Minnesota resident. It may impose financial and emotional difficulties upon a person who needed their job to provide for their loved ones. While there are many legitimate reasons that individuals may be let go from their employment positions, it is important that readers understand that not all terminations are justified.
It is not unusual for Minnesota residents to change jobs throughout their careers. In fact, some individuals may plan to go back to school later in life just so that they can enter a new field or pursue different employment paths. Though some individuals start their work lives with particular employers and stick with them until they retire, it is relatively normal for Americans to move from job to job as their needs and expectations change.
Wrongful terminations can be based on a number of factors, including but not limited to discrimination, retaliation, violations of employment contracts and others. All across Minnesota workers may be released from their jobs and may wonder if the grounds on which their terminations were based were valid or in violation of state and federal laws. When such situations arise, individuals in such difficult positions can seek the counsel of employment attorneys.