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Can your employer suddenly modify the nature of your employment?

Like most in Minneapolis, if asked about your working relationship with your employer, you may likely respond that it is a good one. If nothing else, you at least know that your role with your company is well-defined, right? Have you ever wondered exactly how your employer views your connection, and whether or not its views coincide with yours? Many often believe the nature of their employment to be one way, only to discover later (typically through being fired or laid off) that it was not so.

If such a thing happens to you, the question then becomes whether or not your employer was truthful and forthcoming about the terms of your employment. Some of the ways in which an employer can misrepresent your working relationship may be:

  • To try and change your classification to that of an independent contractor.
  • To promise you certain working hours and then fail to offer them.
  • To fail to report your employment status to the proper parties and authorities.
  • To cite your employment status as a reason to cut your hours or take away benefits.

Many may believe that the principle of at-will employment applies to classifying employment relationships as well, allowing your employer to change your working agreement with impunity. Minnesota law states otherwise.

According to the state's Office of Revisor of Statutes, your employer cannot misrepresent the nature of your employment to you or anyone else. For the purpose of this particular law, "misrepresent" is defined as making any statements regarding your working relationship it knows not to be true. For example, your employer cannot terminate you by suddenly defining you to be an independent contractor if it had not already classified you as one. Some may take such a move as an attempt to conceal an unjust reason for your termination.

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