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SF 2844

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/21/2014 08:40am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to employment; prohibiting discrimination against a public employee for
reporting certain information or refusing to perform certain actions; imposing
civil penalties; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 181.935; Minnesota
Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 181.932, subdivision 1.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2013 Supplement, section 181.932, subdivision 1,
is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Prohibited action.

An employer shall not discharge, discipline,
threaten, otherwise discriminate against, or penalize an employee regarding the employee's
compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment because:

(1) the employee, or a person acting on behalf of an employee, in good faith,
reports a violation, suspected violation, or planned violation of any federal or state law
or common law or rule adopted pursuant to law to an employer or to any governmental
body or law enforcement official;

(2) the employee is requested by a public body or office to participate in an
investigation, hearing, inquiry;

(3) the employee refuses an employer's order to perform an action that the employee
has an objective basis in fact to believe violates any state or federal law or rule or
regulation adopted pursuant to law, and the employee informs the employer that the order
is being refused for that reason;

(4) the employee, in good faith, reports a situation in which the quality of health care
services provided by a health care facility, organization, or health care provider violates a
standard established by federal or state law or a professionally recognized national clinical
or ethical standard and potentially places the public at risk of harm;

(5) a public employee communicates the findings of a scientific or technical study
that the employee, in good faith, believes to be truthful and accurate, including reports to a
governmental body or law enforcement official; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(6) an employee in the classified service of state government communicates
information that the employee, in good faith, believes to be truthful and accurate, and that
relates to state services, including the financing of state services, to:

(i) a legislator or the legislative auditor; or

(ii) a constitutional officerdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (7) a public employee engaged in work on behalf of a public employer who:
new text end

new text begin (i) refuses that public employer's order to perform an action that the employee has an
objective basis in fact to believe would violate recognized ethical standards governing
an occupation for which the employee holds a license; or
new text end

new text begin (ii) reports to a governmental body or official a situation that the employee has an
objective basis in fact to believe violated or would violate recognized ethical standards
governing the employee's licensed occupation.
new text end

The disclosures protected pursuant to this section do not authorize the disclosure of data
otherwise protected by law.new text begin An action against a public employer under this section based
on a report or other communication made by an employee to the person's employer may
be brought at any time within ten years of the report or other communication.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment
and is retroactive so that an action against a public employer based on clause (7) may be
brought based on conduct by the public employer that occurred any time after or ten years
prior to the effective date of this section.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 181.935, is amended to read:


181.935 INDIVIDUAL REMEDIES; PENALTY.

(a) In addition to any remedies otherwise provided by law, an employee injured by
a violation of section 181.932 may bring a civil action to recover any and all damages
recoverable at law, together with costs and disbursements, including reasonable attorney's
fees, and may receive such injunctive and other equitable relief as determined by the court.

(b) An employer who failed to notify, as required under section 181.933 or 181.934,
an employee injured by a violation of section 181.932 is subject to a civil penalty of $25
per day per injured employee not to exceed $750 per injured employee.

(c) If the district court determines that a violation of section 181.932 occurred, the
court may order any appropriate relief, including but not limited to reinstatement, back
pay, restoration of lost service credit, if appropriate, compensatory damages, and the
expungement of any adverse records of an employee who was the subject of the alleged
acts of misconduct.

new text begin (d) In addition to other remedies and damages provided by this section, if a district
court determines that a violation of section 181.932, subdivision 1, clause (7), occurred,
the court must require the public employer to pay $10,000 to the injured employee.
new text end

new text begin (e) A public employer who pays damages, costs, disbursements, or fees as a result of a
violation of section 181.932 may recover these amounts from one or more of its employees
if the public employer demonstrates that the employee's conduct caused the violation of
section 181.932 and that the employee knew the conduct violated section 181.932.
new text end