as introduced - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to occupational safety and health; 1.3 classifying certain communications regarding 1.4 discrimination complaints as privileged; amending 1.5 Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 182.669, subdivision 1.6 1. 1.7 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.8 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 182.669, 1.9 subdivision 1, is amended to read: 1.10 Subdivision 1. Any employee believed to have been 1.11 discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person 1.12 because
suchthe employee has exercised any right authorized 1.13 under the provisions of sections 182.65 to 182.674, may, within 1.14 30 days after suchthe alleged discrimination occurs, file a 1.15 complaint with the commissioner alleging the discriminatory 1.16 act. Upon receipt of suchthe complaint, the commissioner shall 1.17 cause suchan investigation to be made as the commissioner deems 1.18 appropriate. If upon such investigation the commissioner 1.19 determines that a discriminatory act was committed against an 1.20 employee, the commissioner shall refer the matter to the office 1.21 of administrative hearings for a hearing before an 1.22 administrative law judge pursuant to the provisions of chapter 1.23 14. Communications between discrimination complainants and 1.24 attorneys representing the commissioner are privileged as would 1.25 be communications between an attorney and a client. For 1.26 purposes of this section, the commissioner shall file with the 2.1 administrative law judge and serve upon the respondent, by 2.2 registered or certified mail, a complaint and written notice of 2.3 hearing. The respondent shall file with the administrative law 2.4 judge and serve upon the commissioner, by registered or 2.5 certified mail, an answer within 20 days after service of the 2.6 complaint. In all cases where the administrative law judge 2.7 finds that an employee has been discharged or otherwise 2.8 discriminated against by any person because the employee has 2.9 exercised any right authorized under sections 182.65 to 182.674, 2.10 the administrative law judge may order payment to the employee 2.11 of back pay and compensatory damages. The administrative law 2.12 judge may also order rehiring of the employee; reinstatement of 2.13 the employee's former position, fringe benefits, and seniority 2.14 rights; and other appropriate relief. In addition, the 2.15 administrative law judge may order payment to the commissioner 2.16 or to the employee of costs, disbursements, witness fees, and 2.17 attorney fees. Interest shall accrue on, and be added to, the 2.18 unpaid balance of an administrative law judge's order from the 2.19 date the order is signed by the administrative law judge until 2.20 it is paid, at the annual rate provided in section 549.09, 2.21 subdivision 1, paragraph (c). An employee may bring a private 2.22 action in the district court for relief under this section.