When obtaining a release of claims from an employee, it’s important for employers to include a 15-day rescission period for the release to be effective under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA).
The MHRA provides that a waiver or release of claims under the MHRA “may be rescinded within 15 calendar days of its execution” and that the “waiving or releasing party shall be informed in writing of the right to rescind the waiver or release.” Minn. Stat. § 363A.31, Subd. 2. To be effective, the rescission must be in writing and delivered to the waived or released party by hand or mail within the 15-day period.
The requirement for a 15-day rescission period has one important exception, however. The 15-day rescission period is not required for a claim that has been filed with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, another administrative agency (like the EEOC), or a judicial body. Therefore, if an employee or former employee has already filed a charge of discrimination or a lawsuit, the 15-day rescission period is not required.
Takeaways: When requesting a release from an employee or former employee in Minnesota, employers need to make sure that they include the 15-day rescission period – unless the employee or former employee has already filed a charge of discrimination or a lawsuit.