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2004 Minnesota Session Laws

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 137-H.F.No. 480 
                  An act relating to civil actions; providing protection 
                  for disclosure of job reference information; requiring 
                  disclosure of data between school districts and 
                  charter schools relating to acts of violence or 
                  inappropriate sexual contact with students; regulating 
                  the right of an employee to inspect personnel records 
                  concerning the employee; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  2002, sections 13.43, subdivision 16; 181.961, 
                  subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in 
                  Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 13.43, 
        subdivision 16, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 16.  [SCHOOL DISTRICT OR CHARTER SCHOOL DISCLOSURE OF 
        VIOLENCE OR INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONTACT.] With the written, 
        informed consent of the subject of the data, The superintendent 
        of a school district or the superintendent's designee, or a 
        person having administrative control of a charter school, must 
        release to a requesting school district or charter school 
        private personnel data on a current or former employee related 
        to documented acts of violence toward or sexual contact with a 
        student, if an investigation conducted by or on behalf of the 
        school district or law enforcement affirmed the allegations in 
        writing prior to release and the investigation resulted in the 
        resignation of the subject of the data.  Nothing in this 
        subdivision affects or restricts the general requirements of 
        this chapter governing the release of private data with the 
        informed consent of the subject. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 181.961, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [RIGHT TO REVIEW; FREQUENCY.] Upon written 
        request by an employee, the employer shall provide the employee 
        with an opportunity to review the employee's personnel record.  
        An employer is not required to provide an employee with an 
        opportunity to review the employee's personnel record if the 
        employee has reviewed the personnel record during the previous 
        six months; except that, upon separation from employment, an 
        employee may review the employee's personnel record only once at 
        any time within one each year after separation for as long as 
        the personnel record is maintained. 
           Sec. 3.  [181.967] [EMPLOYMENT REFERENCES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this section:
           (1) "employee" means a person who performs services for 
        hire and includes an officer of a corporation; 
           (2) "employer" means a person who has one or more employees 
        and includes a designated employee or agent who discloses 
        information on behalf of an employer; 
           (3) "personnel record" has the meaning given in section 
        181.960; 
           (4) "private employer" means an employer that is not a 
        government entity, as defined in section 13.02; and 
           (5) "public employer" means an employer that is a 
        government entity, as defined in section 13.02. 
           Subd. 2.  [CAUSES OF ACTION LIMITED.] No action may be 
        maintained against an employer by an employee or former employee 
        for the disclosure of information listed in subdivisions 3 to 5 
        about the employee to a prospective employer or employment 
        agency as provided under this section, unless the employee or 
        former employee demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence 
        that: 
           (1) the information was false and defamatory; and 
           (2) the employer knew or should have known the information 
        was false and acted with malicious intent to injure the current 
        or former employee. 
           Subd. 3.  [EMPLOYMENT REFERENCE INFORMATION DISCLOSURE BY 
        PRIVATE EMPLOYERS.] (a) Subdivision 2 applies to the disclosure 
        of the following information by a private employer in response 
        to a request for the information: 
           (1) dates of employment; 
           (2) compensation and wage history; 
           (3) job description and duties; 
           (4) training and education provided by the employer; and 
           (5) acts of violence, theft, harassment, or illegal conduct 
        documented in the personnel record that resulted in disciplinary 
        action or resignation and the employee's written response, if 
        any, contained in the employee's personnel record. 
           A disclosure under clause (5) must be in writing with a 
        copy sent contemporaneously by regular mail to the employee's 
        last known address.  
           (b) With the written authorization of the current or former 
        employee, subdivision 2 also applies to the written disclosure 
        of the following information by a private employer: 
           (1) written employee evaluations conducted before the 
        employee's separation from the employer, and the employee's 
        written response, if any, contained in the employee's personnel 
        record; 
           (2) written disciplinary warnings and actions in the five 
        years before the date of the authorization, and the employee's 
        written response, if any, contained in the employee's personnel 
        record; and 
           (3) written reasons for separation from employment. 
           The employer must contemporaneously provide the employee or 
        former employee with a copy of information disclosed under this 
        paragraph and to whom it was disclosed by mailing the 
        information to the employee or former employee. 
           (c) A prospective employer or employment agency shall not 
        disclose written information received under this section without 
        the written authorization of the employee. 
           Subd. 4.  [DISCLOSURE OF PERSONNEL DATA BY PUBLIC 
        EMPLOYER.] Subdivision 2 applies to the disclosure of all public 
        personnel data and to the following private personnel data under 
        section 13.43 by a public employer if the current or former 
        employee gives written consent to the release of the private 
        data:  
           (1) written employee evaluations conducted before the 
        employee's separation from the employer, and the employee's 
        written response, if any, contained in the employee's personnel 
        record; and 
           (2) written reasons for separation from employment. 
           Subd. 5.  [SCHOOL DISTRICT DISCLOSURE OF VIOLENCE OR 
        INAPPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONTACT.] (a) Subdivision 2 applies to a 
        disclosure by the superintendent of a school district or the 
        superintendent's designee, or a person having administrative 
        control of a charter school, to another school district or 
        charter school of:  (1) public personnel data under section 
        13.43, subdivision 2, relating to acts of violence toward or 
        inappropriate sexual contact with a student that resulted in 
        disciplinary action; and (2) private personnel data under 
        section 13.43, subdivision 16. 
           (b) A disclosure under this subdivision must be in writing 
        with a copy sent contemporaneously by regular mail to the 
        employee's last known address.  
           Subd. 6.  [APPLICATION; RELATION TO OTHER LAW.] (a) This 
        section does not affect the availability of other limitations on 
        liability under common law.  
           (b) This section does not apply to an action involving an 
        alleged violation of chapter 363 or other statute. 
           (c) This section does not diminish or impair the rights of 
        a person under a collective bargaining agreement. 
           Sec. 4.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Section 3 is effective August 1, 2004, and applies to 
        disclosures of information made on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor March 18, 2004 
           Signed by the governor March 22, 2004, 2:03 p.m.

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