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Elements of a Reprisal Action

An employer can get caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place when making employment decisions about employees with a history of making workplace complaints.  The reported appellate law on this issue is pretty limited and understandably so.  Every case is so intensely fact-specific that, quite literally, no two cases are alike.

That said, the elements of a reprisal claim are well established.  In order to establish a prima facie case of reprisal, a plaintiff must demonstrate 3 things: 
  1. The person engaged in statutorily protected conduct;
  2. The employer took an adverse employment action against the employee; and
  3. A causal connection between the employee's protected conducted and the employer's adverse action. Hoover v. Norwest Private Mortg. Banking, 632 N.W.2d 534, 548 (Minn. 2001). 
A failure on any of these elements means there is not a prima facie case for a reprisal claim.

Knowing the law is a great asset for employers.  The peril lies in thinking that you know the law, but not appreciating how the law applies to your specific case. 

A bit of legal research for even slightly comparable cases can save an employer a great deal of time and expense.  For assistance with your employment issues, call me before making a wrong decision.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney. Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.  All information contained in links are the property of the linked site.


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