In Minnesota, workplace protections ensure an employee who comes forward with concerns will not be retaliated against for using their voice. When an employer violates these protections, Schaefer Halleen’s MN whistleblower retaliation lawyers are here to protect workers’ rights and hold companies accountable.
The Many Forms of Retaliation
Workplace retaliation isn’t limited to termination. Retaliation can actually take many forms, including:
- Poor performance reviews
- Demotion or transfer
- Denial of overtime or promotion
- Denial of benefits
- Failure to hire or rehire
- Undesirable scheduling and job assignments
- Other disciplinary actions.
Generally, employers will not link these repercussions to the employee’s actions. They are aware of the workplace protections in place and understand that an admission of retaliation is seriously damaging to the company. Employers will often go out of their way to make it seem like the retaliation is justified; for example, claiming you have done subpar work in the past as an excuse to put you on probation. It is important to document as much as possible so your Minneapolis retaliation attorney can effectively advocate for you in mediation or in court.
If you have access to your timecards, past performance reviews, positive reviews from your clients, or a record of awards you have won, we can use this evidence to argue that you did not deserve the disciplinary actions that were imposed upon you.
The Minnesota Whistleblower Act
The state of Minnesota has its own laws that are meant to protect whistleblowers from acts of retaliation, including termination and discrimination. A whistleblower is an employee who has revealed information about the company’s illegal activity, refused to participate in illegal conduct, or reported their company’s illegal activity to the proper authorities. Depending on the kind of violation, a whistleblower may contact state or federal authorities, OSHA, the EPA, other regulatory agencies, and even their company itself. This law also applies to employees who are called to attend a hearing, participate in an investigation, or offer testimony about the employer’s activities.
Our Minnesota whistleblower employment lawyers know the ins and outs of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act. We are here to offer sound advice about how you can move on from your toxic workplace on favorable terms. We know how companies typically react to accusations of retaliation and what they will do to settle the matter. Most cases of whistleblower retaliation are settled in mediation; companies know all too well what can happen if news of the retaliation goes public, so they would prefer to keep negotiations behind closed doors. However, a whistleblower retaliation case will occasionally go to court. In these instances, it is vital that the client has an attorney who is experienced in employment law litigation.
Federal Whistleblower Protections
In addition to Minnesota’s Whistleblower Act, there are several federal protections for employees who have been retaliated against. First, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects corporate employees by preventing publicly traded companies from retaliating against their whistleblower. This act was passed as an effort to reduce corporate fraud; the thought is that it will make employees more comfortable with reporting this behavior to the proper authorities.
Another relevant federal protection is the False Claims Act. This law aims to protect employees who report illegal activity or fraud, especially fraud committed against the US government. This type of fraud can happen across a wide range of industries; employees in all these industries are protected by this law.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act protects employees from retaliation after exercising their rights under the Act. These rights include requesting a safety inspection at their workplace, participating in an OSHA proceeding, and reporting a work-related injury or illness.
Minnesota Whistleblower Rights Attorneys
Our employment retaliation and wrongful termination attorneys work hard to hold toxic workplaces accountable. If your employer has retaliated against you because you have brought their illegal or immoral actions to light, our attorneys are here to assess your case and hold your employer accountable for their violation of state and federal laws.
At Schaefer Halleen, LLC, we value clear communication, powerful advocacy, and compassion for clients experiencing whistleblower retaliation. Our team knows the intricacies of Minnesota employment law, and we are here to help regardless of the type of retaliation you are facing.
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