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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Employees can sometimes receive unemployment benefits even if they quit, but they must have good cause. Mere dissatisfaction doesn’t count.

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Minnesota workers injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and can’t be punished for asking for or receiving those benefits. Remind supervisors and ­managers that it’s their job to manage the work­­force despite injuries and that threatening or actually punishing workers who apply for benefits is illegal.

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Although most employers are sensitive to the need to protect their own company’s confidential information, they may not be as attuned as they should be to the other side of the coin. A recent trial experience provided an extraordinary lesson on the significant legal exposure an employer can face when hiring employees from a competitor.

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Employees with chronic conditions may need time off, but can’t always plan those absences in advance. And that may mean understaffed positions on short notice. That’s unfortunate, but it’s something a good manager must work around—and something HR should monitor.

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Many companies—including Adobe and Netflix—have abandoned annual reviews, focusing instead on continuous performance management. Could this process work for you?

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Before outsourcing, carefully lay the groundwork. Document the underlying financial and practical reasons, especially if the department is troubled and some employees have filed discrimination or harassment complaints.

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Under the ADA, disabled em­­ployees may be entitled to disability leave beyond what’s available through the FMLA and other accrued leave like vacation and personal time. However, they may not be entitled to reinstatement to their prior position.

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Before you authorize disciplinary action against an employee who has just complained about discrimination or harassment, prepare for a legal fight. If you follow through and the employee sues, few courts will quickly dismiss the case.

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When cupid’s arrow flies between co-workers, it can lead to head­­­­aches—and sometimes lawsuits—for employers. So how can employers avoid trouble without getting overly wrapped up in romantic entanglements?

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The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case of UNITE HERE Local 355 v. Mulhall, which questioned whether a neutrality agreement in which the employer agreed to remain neutral on union organizing efforts violated the LMRA. For now, the question remains unresolved.

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