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On May 24, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed into law omnibus legislation that includes an amendment to Minnesota’s labor law that protects employees’ right to discuss the employees’ own wages. This amendment further defines the types of adverse action that an employer may not take against employees for exercising that right. The effective date of this amendment is July 1, 2023.

Quick Hits

  • Minnesota has enacted a law that further defines the state’s law prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees who disclose their own wages.
  • The law takes effect on July 1, 2023.

The law, Minnesota Statute § 181.172, previously barred employers from retaliating against employees for disclosing their own wages or voluntarily discussing wages with other employees. The existing law stated, “[a]n employer may not retaliate against an employee for asserting rights or remedies under this section.”

The new amendment prohibits more specific retaliatory actions by employers. The new language reads as follows:

An employer shall not discharge, discipline, penalize, interfere with, threaten, restrain, coerce, or otherwise retaliate or discriminate against an employee for asserting rights or remedies under this section.

With this amendment, employers may want to exercise even more caution when responding to employees’ wage discussions in the workplace.

Ogletree Deakins’ Minneapolis office will continue to monitor developments and will publish updates on the Minnesota blog as additional information becomes available.

For more information on the many new laws and amendments coming out of the Minnesota Legislature’s recently concluded 2023 session, please join us for our upcoming webinar, “2023 Minnesota Legislative Update—A Busy Session With Significant Implications for Employers,” which will take place on Friday, June 23, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT. The speakers, Andrew E. Tanick, Jody Ward-Rannow, Nathan T. Boone, and Colin H. Hargreaves, will discuss the developments. Register here.

Colin H. Hargreaves is an associate in the Minneapolis office of Ogletree Deakins.

Maggie Chen is a law student currently participating in the summer associate program in the Minneapolis office of Ogletree Deakins.

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