"Whistleblower protection, an exception to the general rule of
at-will employment, has been in effect in Minnesota since 1987. ... The Minnesota Supreme Court [in Anderson-Johanningmeier] has now eliminated the public policy requirement."
Discusses the whistleblower statute, prior case law, the Anderson-Johanningmeier, and its implications.
"[The decision] is more likely to cause the legislature to revisit the question of whether it intends Minnesota whistleblower protection to be significantly more comprehensive in its protection of employees than that provided under federal law and the common law of other states." 26 pages.
"In a pair of opinions handed down within weeks of each other at the start of this year, Anderson-Johanningmeier v. Mid-Minnesota Women's Center, Inc., and Abraham v. County of Hennepin, the Minnesota Supreme Court made life a good deal easier for plaintiffs bringing suit under Minnesota Statutes Section 181.932--the so-called 'Whistleblower Act.'"
Discusses the right to a jury trial for whistleblowers seeking damages and elimination of the public policy requirement.
"1998 may go down in the annals of Minnesota jurisprudence as the Year of the Whistleblower."
Reviews recent cases. Describes impediments to whistleblower claimants' success: difficulty reaching settlement with hostile former employers, causation, difficulties proving motivation for termination, the whistleblowers' own improprieties, pre-emption by the Human Rights Act, differing remedies and limitations periods available under different theories, and uncertain outcomes when whistleblowers' claims are actually taken to trial.
"The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Our basic authorities come from three federal statutes, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Hatch Act.
OSC's primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing."
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