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What are the laws surrounding termination in Minnesota?

Minnesota is a state that has "at will" employment. Although this means that your employer can fire you without notice, and you can leave without notice, there are still some important laws imparting rights to you as a terminated employee. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, you still have the right to know the reason behind your termination, even though businesses can fire you "at will." To find out why your employer fired you, within 15 business days of the end of your employment, you must submit a request to your former employer in writing. Within 10 days, by law, your former employer must provide a truthful reason.

Upon termination, you also have the right to receive any final payments and benefits due to you based on company policy. If you quit, your employer can take up to 20 days to pay you, although you must receive your paycheck by the next pay period. However, if you are fired, your employer has a shorter period of time with which to comply. If your job involved the use of company property or funds, then the employer doesn’t have to pay you until an audit has been completed. If your job did not involve company property, then once you demand payment, the employer must provide you with the final paycheck within a day. Any benefits must be provided within 30 days, if the company policy states you receive any severance packages, sick leave or vacation upon termination.

Although you can be fired for any reason in an at-will state like Minnesota, there are times where this does not apply. In a previous post, we discussed at-will termination in detail. Your employer still cannot fire you for discriminatory reasons such as your religion, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, race, national origin or sexual orientation. You also cannot be fired for being a whistleblower. This post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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