|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 819 - State Employee Whistle-Blower Investigations (Second Engrossment)
|Author:||Senator John Marty|
|Prepared by:||Thomas S. Bottern, Senate Counsel (651/296-3810)|
|Date:||April 19, 2005|
This bill provides a variety of procedures that must be used when certain state employees are involuntarily terminated. These procedures include the preservation of specified employee records, and a prohibition on terminating a state employee because the state employee reports serious waste, inefficiency, or mismanagement.
Section 1 [CERTAIN EMPLOYEE RECORDS.] requires state agencies to preserve records for at least two years relating to a state employee who is involuntarily terminated from employment. Provides the terminated employee with the opportunity to review all records. Paragraph (b) allows a state agency subject to paragraph (a) to provide the affected employee with written notice of the right to review the records. This triggers a ten-day review period for the employee. After the ten days expire, the agency may dispose of the data. Paragraph (c) creates liability for a state agency that violates this requirement and provides costs and attorney fees for employees who successfully enforce their rights under the statute. This section also requires reinstatement of the terminated employee, including lost wages, and health and retirement benefits if this procedure is violated. The records retention requirement does not apply to employees who are laid off.
Section 2 [DISCHARGE, SUSPENSION, DEMOTION FOR CAUSE, SALARY DECREASE.] clarifies that if an employee is discharged from the unclassified service while the employee is on leave from the classified service, all procedures necessary for terminating the employee from the classified service must be followed if the employee is to be terminated from that position as well.
Section 3 [PUBLIC EMPLOYERS.] prohibits the state and political subdivisions of this state from discharging, disciplining, threatening, penalizing, or otherwise discriminating against an employee who in good faith, reports on serious waste, inefficiency, or mismanagement in the employee's place of employment, even if there is no violation of federal or state law. Paragraph (c) provides an employee who is involuntarily discharged in violation of this section of law to seek review of the discharge under contested case proceedings in chapter 14. Allows parties to any contested case proceeding reasonable access to relevant documents and witnesses before the hearing begins. In evaluating the case, the administrative law judge may consider the quality and integrity of any investigative process that was used by the agency.
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