The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Q. We terminated an employee’s employment because of a recent conviction. A state agency has asked for details about the reason for the termination. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, what can we share with the agency regarding details on background checks?

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Money left for workers in places where tipping is typical becomes the property of the workers for which the money is intended. If employees tell you that the money is disappearing and that a supervisor is responsible, check out the allegations.

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Are you settling a discrimination case with termination and a back or front pay agreement? Be sure to work with counsel to find the most effective way to apply the payment. Done properly, a back pay or front pay lump sum may mean the employee can’t collect unemployment compensation payments.

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Employees terminated for dishonesty aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. And being dishonest can involve breaking company rules to gain an advantage even if there’s no direct theft involved. Just be sure that before you terminate the worker for breaking the rule, you document the incident and can explain why you believe she acted dishonestly.

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Sometimes, applicants don’t know how much money to ask for. That’s especially true if their target employer isn’t open about salary ranges or how much it is willing to pay for a particular job. What should you do if an applicant is asking for less money than the position potentially pays?

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Make sure that any entity you hire to conduct fitness-for-duty exams understands their responsibility to exclude genetic information requests from the determination. Otherwise, you may be liable for Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act violations. The employee doesn’t have to add the providers to the lawsuit.

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Most employers are aware that certain dress and grooming practices generally must be accommodated in the workplace.

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Q. We have a workforce that largely works remotely, some hundreds of miles from our corporate office. For a variety of reasons, we will be reclassifying a number of these individuals from independent contractor status to employees. Given that we will need I-9s for the employees, do we need to personally see the required identification documents, or can the employees send us facsimiles/scans, etc.? If we need to see the forms personally, what is the best way to do that?

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Here’s a tip that can help you streamline the hiring process if you reasonably believe you will have a large number of applicants. Instead of listing preferred qualifications, include a longer list of required ones. That way, you should be able to whittle down the applicant list to those candidates closest to your ideal candidates.

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The University of Minnesota at Duluth is still reeling from discrimination charges after it failed to renew hockey coach Shannon Miller’s contract. Miller and three of her coaches, all of whom are openly gay, were terminated.

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