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; or
(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 officer.
The disclosures protected pursuant to this section do not authorize the disclosure of data otherwise protected by law.
The identity of any employee making a report to a governmental body or law enforcement official under subdivision 1, clause (1) or (4), is private data on individuals as defined in section 13.02. The identity of an employee providing information under subdivision 1, clause (2), is private data on individuals if:
(1) the employee would not have provided the information without an assurance that the employee's identity would remain private, because of a concern that the employer would commit an action prohibited under subdivision 1 or that the employee would be subject to some other form of retaliation; or
(2) the state agency, statewide system, or political subdivision reasonably believes that the employee would not have provided the data because of that concern.
If the disclosure is necessary for prosecution, the identity of the employee may be disclosed but the employee shall be informed prior to the disclosure.
This section does not permit an employee to make statements or disclosures knowing that they are false or that they are in reckless disregard of the truth.
This section does not diminish or impair the rights of a person under any collective bargaining agreement.
This section does not permit disclosures that would violate federal or state law or diminish or impair the rights of any person to the continued protection of confidentiality of communications provided by common law.
NOTE: Subdivision 1, paragraph (a) (renumbered clause (1)), was found preempted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) as applied to claims resulting from reporting violations of ERISA in McLean v. Carlson Companies, Inc., 777 F.Supp. 1480 (D. Minn. 1991).
NOTE: Subdivision 1, paragraphs (a) and (c) (renumbered clauses (1) and (3)), were found preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act to the extent that they relate to air carrier routes and services in Botz v. Omni Air Int'l, 286 F.3d 488 (8th Cir. 2002).
NOTE: Subdivision 1, paragraph (a) (renumbered clause (1)), was found preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act to the extent that it relates to air carrier service in Regner v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 652 N.W.2d 557 (Minn. Ct. App. 2002).
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes