As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Charities. It is illegal for employers to engage in any reprisal against an employee for declining to donate to a charitable organization, including the employer itself (MN Stat. Sec. 181.937).
Court attendance. Employers may not discipline or discharge employees for absences resulting from serving on a jury or a summons for or appearance as a witness in court (MN Stat. Sec. 611A.036 and Sec. 593.50).
Equal pay law. It is illegal to discipline or discharge an employee for filing a complaint under Minnesota's equal pay law (MN Stat. Sec. 181.67).
Garnishment/family support withholding. An employer may not discharge an employee as the result of an earnings garnishment (MN Stat. Sec. 571.927) or because of wage withholding for family or child support (MN Stat. Sec. 518A.53).
Lawful products. It is illegal to discipline or discharge an employee for using lawful consumable products such as alcohol, food, or tobacco outside the workplace during nonworking hours (MN Stat. Sec. 181.938).
Occupational safety and health violations. It is illegal in ...