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May 31, 2024

Wrongful Termination

How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination in Minnesota?

A wrongful termination is not always an unlawful termination. Termination can typically happen for any reason or even no reason at all, especially in an at will state like Minnesota. At will employment means that an employer can let you go for any reason, even if it feels unfair to you or is even wrong or false, so long as the reason is not illegal.

Employees, including independent contractors, can also leave their jobs whenever they want under employment at will. There are some situations where employment at will does not apply, mainly to protect workers from discrimination or retaliation.

For a termination to be considered illegal—or unlawful—the termination must violate a state or federal law. Employees are afforded certain protections from unlawful termination under different state and federal laws including several federal laws that are enforced under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

For example, employees are protected from retaliation if they report illegal activities performed by their employer or if they take part in an investigation into illegal activities their employer has allegedly carried out. If an employee is fired because they took part in a protected activity like reporting illegal activities, that can be a case of unlawful termination.

With that in mind, not every situation of wrongful termination will be considered unlawful. But to establish that a termination was unlawful, you will have to be prove that the termination was—at least in part—motivated by an unlawful reason.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination in Minnesota?

As you might expect, your employer will generally not come out and say that they have terminated you for an illegal reason – whether that reason is based on discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, or other unlawful conduct. If your termination was based on an unlawful reason, an employer may try to tie a termination to a different reason, such as claiming poor work performance or attendance. So, in order to prove that a termination was wrongful, you will need to prove that a termination was actually related to an unlawful reason.

There are a number different ways that you and a wrongful termination lawyer in Minnesota can work to prove wrongful termination. Some of the more common ways are to show that:

  • Prove that the employer’s stated reason for termination is incorrect. Employees, within 15 business days of being terminated, can request in writing the reason for termination from their employer, per state law.
  • Prove that the provided reason for termination is not the real reason for termination.

Proving an illegal termination can be done by providing evidence like emails, work performance reviews, your employment contract, eyewitness statements, and more to support your case

In some cases, your situation may include direct evidence of a wrongful termination being caused by unlawful conduct. For example, an employer might send you an email that blatantly says you are being let go for reporting discriminatory behavior from a coworker. But it is important to keep in mind that this type of very direct evidence is not always going to be available in every case, and that’s okay.

Can I Sue My Employer if I was Wrongfully Terminated in MN?

If you have reason to believe a wrongful termination is also related to an unlawful reason, then you may have grounds to seek legal action against your employer. For example, if you and a coworker commit similar actions but only you are terminated, you may have a case of unlawful termination on your hands.

If you believe you were unlawfully terminated, contact the wrongful termination lawyers in Minnesota at Wanta Thome.

Can I Collect Unemployment Benefits if I was Fired in MN?

Most people are considered eligible for unemployment benefits in Minnesota unless they have:

  • Been fired for employment misconduct
  • Quit their jobs
  • Left a role due to participation in a labor dispute
  • Been fired for aggravated employment misconduct

There are exceptions to these reasons, especially in cases of an employee who has quit their job or for employees who are fired. Some exceptions for employees who have been fired who may still be eligible for unemployment benefits, as listed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, include:

  • Honest mistakes
  • Inefficiency
  • Absence because of illness and/or injury with notice to an employer
  • Ordinary errors/accidents that aren’t caused by negligence or carelessness
  • An inability to meet an employer’s performance expectations

You can see a detailed list of eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits on the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance website to learn more.

How Hard is it to Prove Wrongful Termination in MN?

The difficulty of proving wrongful termination will vary from case to case as details and information differ. Proving wrongful termination that is unlawful will require evidence and available evidence will depend on your individual circumstances.

To help better understand the evidence you may need to help prove wrongful termination, reach out to one of our wrongful termination lawyers in Minnesota. We are ready and waiting to offer you guidance.

Reach Out Today for Help

We offer free initial consultations so we can better understand your situation. Our team of wrongful termination lawyers are here to serve as strong allies to you as we work together to discuss your rights and better understand what you are dealing with.