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How to Minimize Potential Liability for Employment References in Minnesota

Minnesota law provides protection to employers who disclose certain types of information in response to requests for employment references. If an employer stays within the confines of the statute, a current or former employee must make a heightened evidentiary showing to prevail on a lawsuit against the employer related to the disclosure.With limited exceptions, in order to maintain a cause of action against an employer, a current or former employee must be able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that: (1) the information was false and defamatory; and (2) the employer knew or should have known the information was false and acted with malicious intent to injure the current or former employee. Employers can minimize potential liability for employment references by limiting their disclosures to include only the information that is authorized under the statute.

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