Workplace Rights

I’ve been fired… what should I do?
Job security in America is a thing of the past. Employees in Minnesota are “at will” – meaning an employer generally can fire you at any time, for any reason.

NOTE: If you have been fired because of a positive drug or alcohol test, contact an attorney immediately. Do not follow any of the steps listed below until you have spoken to an attorney experienced in drug/alcohol testing cases.

The first thing to do is to find out why you were fired. Minnesota law requires that an employer provide you with a written reason for your termination if you ask for it in writing within 15 days of your termination.

Find out if you have any right to appeal your termination. Get a copy of your employee handbook or other policies or procedures regarding termination. If you are a union employee, read your collective bargaining agreement and talk to your union about filing a grievance.

Prepare a written timeline of events leading to your termination. This should be done as soon after your termination as you can, while the facts are still fresh in your mind.

Gather names and contact information for coworkers and supervisors who might have witnessed events at work or have information that could help you.

Apply for unemployment benefits.

Find out who has the authority to reinstate you. This might be your immediate supervisor, someone in human resources, or even the president of the company. Don’t be intimidated about doing this – you have nothing to loose – you have already been fired.

Make a written demand for your employee file and wages. Minnesota law requires an employer to send you a copy of your personnel file if you request it in writing. Minnesota law also requires that the employer must pay you all wages and vacation benefits owed to you within 24 hours of receiving your letter. If the employer does not pay you within 24 hours, you may be able to sue the employer and collect up to 3 weeks additional wages in Conciliation Court (small claims).

• Hennepin County Conciliation Court

• Ramsey County Conciliation Court

• Dakota County Conciliation Court

• Anoka County Conciliation Court

Contact an attorney.


This web site is designed for general information only. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2003