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Minnesota is an employment "at will" state. An employee can quit for any reason; an employer can fire any employee for any reason as long as that reason is not illegal, such as discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or marital status.

Notice of separation

No notice of separation is required by law, by either party, upon separation of an employee for any reason. Courtesy and time to collect accrued benefits are reasons why notice is given.

Payment of wages due

A terminated employee's paycheck must be paid within 24 hours of the employee's demand for wages (see Minnesota Statutes 181.13). If an employee quits, wages are due on the next pay period that is more than five days after quitting. However, wages must be paid within 20 days of separation (see Minnesota Statutes 181.14).

When the discharged or quitting employee was entrusted with money or property during employment, the employer shall have an additional 10 calendar-days after the date of the employee's separation to audit the accounts of the employee before the employee's wages are to be paid.

Payment of benefits

Company policy can determine when any benefits are due, such as vacation, sick leave and severance packages. Benefits are payable within 30 days of when they become due. If owed and not paid by the employer, the employee may file a claim for those benefits in the conciliation court in the county in which the employee worked for the employer (see Minnesota Statutes 181.74).

Reason for termination

An employer must give a truthful reason why an employee was terminated, if requested in writing by the employee within 15 working-days of termination. The employer has 10 working-days from receipt of the request to give a truthful reason in writing for the termination.

For more information

Contact us at dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us, 651-284-5070 or 800-342-5354.