EMPLOYMENT LAW

New Minnesota law aims to close gender gap in the workplace

09/17/2014
With great fanfare, Minnesota’s new Women’s Economic Secu­­rity Act was signed into law on Mother’s Day in May 2014. WESA is aimed at closing the gender gap by breaking down barriers to economic progress for women. It creates a number of new legal requirements and amends various existing laws.

EEOC sues Minneapolis manufacturer for disability bias

09/17/2014
A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack.

Tire company puts equal pay dispute in rear-view mirror

09/17/2014
A female HR director delivered St. Cloud-based Royal Tire a kick when she sued the company for an Equal Pay Act violation.

EEOC sues Minneapolis manufacturer for disability bias

09/17/2014
A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack.

Careful how often you suggest retirement

09/17/2014
Remind bosses: Be careful how you approach discussing potential retirement plans. Asking too often or in a way that’s not business-related may precipitate an age discrimination lawsuit if the employee loses her job or is demoted after such conversations.

Court won't toss case over strict 90-day filing limit

09/17/2014
When the EEOC issues a so-called “right to sue” letter, the recipient has just 90 days to file a federal lawsuit. But courts are increasingly reluctant to dismiss cases filed within a few days of the deadline.

There's rude and then there's harassment: Simple slights won't cost you in court

09/17/2014
Rudeness is likely to sneak into the workplace no matter how many civility rules you post. Unless the behavior is clearly abusive or obviously offensive to a protected class, don’t lose too much sleep over a potential lawsuit.

Stillwater, Okla. restaurant adds 'minimum wage fee' to checks

09/17/2014
Things are not peaceful at the Oasis Café in Stillwater. When the state’s higher minimum wage took effect on Aug. 1, the restaurant began charging a 35-cent “minimum wage fee” on each order. Restaurant management claims the charge is to highlight the burden the wage hike places on small businesses.

Slurs followed by firing? Get a lawyer!

09/17/2014
Here’s a surefire way to spur a lawsuit and ensure it goes to trial: Just fire an employee who has been the target of her boss’s racial slurs.

Discipline for problems discovered during FMLA

09/17/2014
Some employees seem to think that their employer can’t punish them for violating company rules if they happen to be on FMLA leave when their employer finds out. They think the FMLA protects them broadly from consequences. For­­tu­­nately, that’s just not true.

To prove executive exemption, show employee's 'direct involvement' in hiring

09/17/2014

Employees are eligible for overtime pay unless their positions fit into one of several exemption categories, including the executive exemption. But take note: Don’t try to apply the executive exemption label unless the employee is directly involved in hiring and firing or his or her recommendations are seriously considered during the decision-making process.

Why do workers take FMLA leave?

09/16/2014
According to a new Department of Labor report, these are the top reasons workers take FMLA leave.

Drug tests: What to do about 'watered down' results?

09/12/2014
Q. We have a couple of workers who keep getting “negative dilute” results of drug tests. Our policy is to not accept the result and to retest. Can we require the retest to be an observed collection?

22% of workforce covered by ban on transgender bias

09/10/2014
According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, which tracks gay-rights issues in the workplace, more than a fifth of U.S. workers will be covered by the Department of Labor’s August announcement that it will interpret prohibitions on sex discrimination in a recent Obama administration executive order to include discrimination based on gender identity and transgender status.

Can workplace cliques be proof of racial discrimination?

09/09/2014
You may think that what employees do in the breakroom or at post-work happy hours is their own business. That could be an expensive mistake.
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