Under Minnesota law, employment is presumptively “at will.”  This means that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time and for any reason, except on the basis of prohibited discrimination or retaliation (e.g., race, sex, age, disability, whistleblowing, etc.).
The traditional rule of at-will employment may be altered and a contract for employment may be formed by:

  • Employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements;
  • Statements made in employee handbooks or policy manuals without an appropriate disclaimer;
  • Specific oral statements made to applicants or employees; and
  • Other written representations, for example, those contained in an offer or warning letter to an employee.

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