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Legal Counsel For Employee Issues, Including Hiring, Discipline And Termination

Although Minnesota is an at-will employment state, employers are often leery about firing workers or meting out discipline. Even in hiring or layoffs, the threat of lawsuits weighs heavy in decisions.

The employment law attorneys of Burns & Hansen, P.A., provide reliable legal advice for hiring and firing, disciplinary actions and other issues regarding treatment of employees. We represent small and midsize companies in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and statewide Minnesota. Arrange a free initial discussion today by calling 952-219-7897.


You are not required to hire the best qualified person. But you can’t exclude candidates for discriminatory reasons (age, race, gender, disability, religion, etc.), and there are certain questions you cannot ask in interviews (family status, sexual orientation, arrests, etc.).

Our knowledgeable lawyers can advise on what you can and cannot do in hiring and firing or how to research candidate backgrounds without violating state and federal laws. What counts as reasonable accommodation of a worker’s disability? To what extent must an employer accommodate religious customs?

We can also counsel employers on employee versus independent contractor status, drafting employment agreements and other issues relating to hiring, firing or promoting workers.


Under Minnesota law, employers can fire employees for good cause or for no cause at all. But there are public policy exceptions that could constitute wrongful termination:

  • Discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Retaliation for claiming harassment or discrimination
  • Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Adverse actions based on pregnancy or FMLA leave
  • Retaliation for filing for workers’ compensation
  • Refusing to participate in illegal activity
  • Whistleblowing on illegal activity

But if an employee’s underperformance, misconduct or other behavior is a firing offense, an employee’s “protected class” status should not prevent you from taking action. We advise on how to document the behavior and take steps toward termination and ensuring that any discipline or termination comports with the employee handbook and applicable laws.

We have also defended employers in employment litigation when a current or terminated employee cries foul and files suit for discrimination, harassment, retaliation or wrongful discharge.

Call our Minneapolis law office at 952-219-7897 for a free initial discussion.