FAQ

Can I sue for wrongful termination?

Wrongful termination is not recognized as a legal claim in Minnesota. However, an employee who is fired for unlawful reasons such as race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, for being a whistle blower, or in breach of a contract may have a legal claim against their former employer. For more information, read Can I Sue for Wrongful Termination?

Can I sue for emotional distress?

Minnesota recognizes emotional distress as an element of damages that can be recovered in certain cases. Minnesota also recognizes independent legal claims for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

How do I prove defamation?

To prove defamation in Minnesota, you must have the evidence to establish: (1) that a defamatory statement about you was communicated to someone other than you; (2) the statement is false, and (3) the statement tends to harm your reputation and to lower you in the estimation of the community.

What is wage theft?

In Minnesota, wage theft occurs when an employer, with intent to defraud, fails to pay an employee all of his or her earnings, causes an employee to give a receipt for wages for a greater amount than actually paid, demands or receives from any employee any rebate or refund from the wages owed, or makes or attempts to make it appear in any manner the wages paid to any employee were greater than the amount actually paid. For more information, read New Wage Theft and Employer Record Keeping Requirements Begin July 1.

What is at-will employment?

At-will employment means employment for no particular duration. Either the employee or the employer may end their employment relationship at any time with or without notice or cause. For more information, read The Problem with Probationary Periods.

How do I earn overtime pay?

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, certain employees earn overtime pay for any hours worked beyond forty hours in a workweek. The overtime rate is one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. Some employees are exempt from these overtime requirements and are paid the same amount regardless of how many hours they work. Minnesota and some other states have other overtime laws that may apply.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a forum where a neutral third party facilitates communication between parties to promote settlement. A mediator may not impose his or her own judgment on the issues for that of the parties and has no authority to decide the issues. A mediator’s job is to help the parties reach their own agreement to resolve the dispute. For more information, read Alternatives to Court.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is a forum where each party and their attorneys present their positions before a neutral third party who decides the issues and issues a specific award. If the parties agree in advance, the award is binding and is enforceable in the same manner as any contractual obligation. If the parties do not stipulate that the award is binding, the award is not binding, and a request for trial may be made. For more information, read Alternatives to Court.

Do I have a right to express breast milk while at work?

Minnesota grants nursing mothers the right to express breast milk while at work. The law also specifies how nursing mothers may take breaks for this purpose, and it describes the types of facilities an employer must provide for nursing mothers. There is an exception for situations where allowing the break unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. For more information, read Nursing Mothers’ Rights.

Can I be fired without any warning?

The general rule in Minnesota is that an employee may be fired without warning or cause, and employees may quit without notice or cause. This is known as at-will employment. There are many exceptions to this general rule.

Can I be fired without cause?

The general rule in Minnesota is that an employee may be fired without warning or cause, and employees may quit without notice or cause. This is known as at-will employment. There are many exceptions to this general rule.

What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is a person who reports wrongdoing by someone else. In Minnesota, employees have the legal right “blow the whistle” on their employers by reporting in good faith a violation, suspected violation, or planned violation of laws or rules adopted pursuant to law to their employer or to any governmental body or law enforcement official.

Do I have to follow my employer’s orders if I believe it would be against the law do so?

Generally, following an employer’s orders is insubordination that would give the employer a proper reason to discipline or even fire an employee. However, in Minnesota, employees have the legal right to refuse an employer’s order to perform an action that the employee has an objective basis in fact to believe violates any state or federal law or rule or regulation adopted pursuant to law, and the employee informs the employer that the order is being refused for that reason.

Can I sue for being bullied at work?

In Minnesota, an employee does not have a legal claim based on workplace bullying. However, if the reason for the bullying is unlawful, an employee may have a claim. For example, if an employee is bullied because of his or her race, religion, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation or other legally protected characteristic, the employee may have a discrimination claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

Can I sue for workplace retaliation?

In Minnesota, certain forms of workplace retaliation are protected by law. For example, if an employer retaliates against an employee because the employee complained about sexual harassment or some other form of unlawful discrimination, the employee may have a valid retaliation claim against the employer.

What is workplace reprisal?

Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, reprisal occurs when an employer takes adverse action against an employee because that employee engaged in activity that is protected by that law.

Do I have to disclose my criminal history when applying for a job?

Minnesota law allows employers to ask job applicants about their criminal history. However this can be done only after the applicant has been invited to a job interview or, if there will not be an interview, when a conditional job offer is made to the employee. There are exceptions for certain jobs that a subject to other state or federal requirements.

Are non-competes legal?

In Minnesota, non-competes are disfavored by the courts, but they are legal if they meet strict legal standards. For example, they must be reasonable in terms of duration and the scope of the restriction. The employee must actually receive some benefit in exchange for agreeing to the restriction.

What is an injunction?

An injunction is a court order saying that someone must either do or not do a certain thing. For example, if someone trespasses on another’s property, a court could issue an injunction banning the trespasser from that property.

What is a start of employment notice?

A start of employment notice is a notice required by Minnesota’s wage theft law. It includes information such as an employee’s name and contact information, rates of pay, available leave benefits, and exempt or non-exempt status. The notice must be given to each new employee, and if any information on that notice changes, the employer must notify the employee in writing.

What is the difference between Joint Tenancy and Tenants in Common?

Joint tenancy with a right of survivorship dictates that, upon the death of a joint owner, the remaining joint owner(s) owns the real property free of any interest of the deceased individual. Tenants in common (the default in MN) dictates that the deceased individual’s estate is the owner and ownership passes to the deceased individuals heirs.

What is the difference between Probate and Non-Probate assets?

Probate assets are assets in the sole name/ownership of a deceased individual and require a court (with some limited exceptions) to transfer title. Non-probate assets have beneficiary designations or some other non-court related method for transferring such as a pay-on-death designation or asset held in joint tenancy. It is important to note that a will generally covers only probate assets. Again, with some limited exceptions, a non-probate designation will trump provisions in a will.

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A trust is an arrangement whereby certain assets are transferred to an individual (“trustee”) to manage according to certain terms for the benefit of an individual or entity. A “revocable living” trust indicates that the trust may be modified or otherwise amended by its creator (“settlor”) during that individual’s lifetime. Upon the settlor’s death, the trust may not be amended or otherwise modified, thereby becoming “irrevocable.” Generally speaking, a revocable living trust is formed as an estate planning tool with the settlor as both the trustee and the trust’s beneficiary. Title assets in the name of the trust can be one method to avoid the probate process.

What is title insurance and do I need it?

Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects the beneficiary (usually the bank or the owner) from defects in the chain or marketability of a piece of real estate. In general, the title insurance policy can provide peace of mind that the real estate you are purchasing is truly owned by the person from whom you are buying it. For example, an owner’s title insurance policy would typically protect an owner from claims from a previous owner of a claim of interest. It might also insure an owner against a claim by a neighbor of some encroachment on the neighbor’s property. Each policy has a list of rules and exceptions as to what the policy covers, so it is important to take a close look at exactly what type of protection the policy offers.