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611A.036 Prohibition against employer retaliation.

Subdivision 1. Victim or witness. An employer must allow a victim or witness, who is subpoenaed or requested by the prosecutor to attend court for the purpose of giving testimony, reasonable time off from work to attend criminal proceedings related to the victim's case.

Subd. 2. Victim's spouse or next of kin. An employer must allow a victim of a heinous crime, as well as the victim's spouse or next of kin, reasonable time off from work to attend criminal proceedings related to the victim's case.

Subd. 3. Prohibited acts. 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 the employee took reasonable time off from work to attend a criminal proceeding pursuant to this section.

Subd. 4. Verification; confidentiality. An employee who is absent from the workplace shall give 48 hours' advance notice to the employer, unless impracticable or an emergency prevents the employee from doing so. Upon request of the employer, the employee shall provide verification that supports the employee's reason for being absent from the workplace. All information related to the employee's leave pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential by the employer.

Subd. 5. Penalty. An employer who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished for contempt of court. In addition, the court shall order the employer to offer job reinstatement to any employee discharged from employment in violation of this section, and to pay the employee back wages as appropriate.

Subd. 6. Civil action. In addition to any remedies otherwise provided by law, an employee injured by a violation of this section may bring a civil action for recovery for damages, together with costs and disbursements, including reasonable attorneys fees, and may receive such injunctive and other equitable relief, including reinstatement, as determined by the court.

Subd. 7. Definition. As used in this section, "heinous crime" means:

(1) a violation or attempted violation of section 609.185 or 609.19;

(2) a violation of section 609.195 or 609.221; or

(3) a violation of section 609.342, 609.343, or 609.344, if the offense was committed with force or violence or if the complainant was a minor at the time of the offense.

HIST: 1986 c 463 s 9; 1994 c 636 art 7 s 1; 2005 c 136 art 8 s 23