When bringing a whistleblower claim — that is, when bringing a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination for “blowing the whistle” — employees and their counsel must take care and be sure that the whistle-blowing related to a violation of law (“or rule adopted pursuant to law” — i.e., a government regulation). In the Kratzer case decided today by the Minnesota Supreme Court, a real estate broker disclosed dual representation as required by law, but did not disclose to the seller a special incentive-deal he made with purchaser. Plaintiff/Employee thought this lack of disclosure violated the law and his “whistle-blowing” allegedly resulted in his termination.
This lack of disclosure, the Supreme Court held, did not violate any law and thus the whistle-blower claim failed as a matter of law.
Plaintiff/Employee also argued that the issue should not be whether he blew the whistle on illegal conduct, but, rather, whether he, in good faith, thought he was doing so. The Minnesota Supreme Court slapped down this argument (“We have rejected this argument on at least three occasions and we do so again in this case”).
Justices Meyer issued a lengthy dissent, in which Justice Page joined.