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Discipline and termination

State procedures

Are there state-specific laws on the procedures employers must follow with regard to discipline and grievance procedures?


At-will or notice

At-will status and/or notice period?

Under Minnesota common law, employees are generally considered to be employed at will.

What restrictions apply to the above?

At-will employment is limited by many state statutes, including the following:

  • Minnesota Human Rights Act (Minn. Stat. § 363A.08);
  • Minnesota Notice of Termination Law (Minn. Stat. § 181.932);
  • Minnesota Lawful Consumable Products Act (Minn. Stat. §181.938);
  • Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (Minn. Stat. § 181.953, subd. 10); and
  • retaliatory discharge for filing a worker’s compensation claim (Minn. Stat. § 176.82).

There are also a variety of common law exceptions, such as:

  • termination in breach of contract, whether written or oral (Pine River State Bank v. Mettille, 333 N.W.2d 622 (Minn. 1983));
  • promissory estoppel (Grouse v. Group Health Plan, Inc., 306 N.W.2d 114 (Minn. 1981));
  • tortious interference with contract (Kallok v. Medtronic, Inc., 573 N.W.2d 356 (Minn. 1998); Nordling v. Northern States Power Co., 478 N.W.2d 498 (Minn. 1991)); and
  • public policy common law tort exception to at-will employment (Phipps v. Clark Oil & Refining Corp., 408 N.W.2d 569 (Minn. 1987)).

Final paychecks

Are there state-specific rules on when final paychecks are due after termination?

An employer must pay a discharged employee all wages which are due but unpaid within 24 hours of an employee’s demand. An employer that fails to pay within this 24-hour period may be liable for a penalty of up to 15 days of additional wages (Minn. Stat. § 181.13).

An employer must pay an employee who resigns on the first regularly scheduled payday after the final day of employment (Minn. Stat. § 181.14). 

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