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Employee Discipline: Minnesota

Employee Discipline requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Mark Mathison, Gray Plant Mooty


  • Minnesota law on lie detector tests is more restrictive than the federal law in a variety of ways. As to those more restrictive aspects, Minnesota law governs. See Lie Detector Tests Prohibited.
  • The Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) substantially limits and proscribes drug testing by Minnesota employers. See Drug Testing.
  • Employers must exercise caution when considering an employee's criminal conviction history as a criterion in making promotion decisions. See Drug Testing.
  • Minnesota is a one-party consent state as to the tape recording of meetings and conversations. See Recording Meetings.
  • There are significant ways in which the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) differs from or supplements federal discrimination laws. Such state and federal laws must be considered in connection with employee discipline. Unlike federal statutes, the MHRA covers all employers in Minnesota, even those with only a single employee. See Discipline of Employees in Protected Classes: Minnesota Human Rights Act.
  • The MHRA is broader than federal nondiscrimination statutes. It includes additional protected classes and provides greater protection to some classes already covered by federal laws. See Treatment of Employees in Protected Classes: Minnesota Human Rights Act.
  • Minnesota employees are protected against employer retaliation for a great number of different kinds of activities. These include prohibitions against employer retaliation on the basis of military service, taking military leave, whistleblowing and consuming lawful products such as tobacco and alcohol outside of work. See Treatment of Employees Who Have Engaged in Protected Activities.
  • The Minnesota Personnel Record statute provides employees the right to record and have placed in the permanent personnel record a response to discipline by the employer. See Other Discipline Considerations; Employee Right to Dispute Record of Discipline.