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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Employees who sue for bias must show that they suffered some harm from the discrimination they allege.

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A few years back, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that chicken processing employees had to be paid for time spent putting on and taking off special protective clothing before and after their shifts. Since then, numerous lawsuits have challenged “donning and doffing” pay practices. Now, the 8th Circuit Court of Ap­peals has provided a bit of clarification.

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The EEOC has sued Worthington-based Davis Typewriter after a manager streamed video from a company surveillance tape on his computer—allegedly so he could ogle a female subordinate’s breasts.

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The Minnesota Senate has finally settled with former legislative aide Michael Brodkorb, who sued after he was fired in the wake of a romantic affair with then-Majority Leader Amy Koch.

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The EEOC has sued Buffalo-based Izza Bending Tube & Wire, claiming it retaliated against an employee after she objected to a manager’s decision not to hire a black applicant.

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It’s natural for co-workers to gripe when a disabled employee’s accommodation causes more work. They may complain that the accommodated employee isn’t pulling her weight or that the accommodations are bogus. Tell them to zip it.

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A high-profile sexual harassment case that went all the way to the Min­­ne­­sota Supreme Court will now proceed to the penalty phase with no opposition from the defendant.

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Employees terminated ­during RIFs sometimes believe they were hand-selected for layoff because of discrimination or retaliation for prior complaints. Smart employers consider that possibility and carefully document the RIF process to show when the possibility of layoffs was first considered and how employees were picked for termination.

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Here’s a simple message you can pass on to bosses dealing with pregnant employees: Tell them the only appropriate response is to offer the mother-to-be a congratulations when she announces her pregnancy.

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Here’s a reminder that Minnesota law prohibits employers from forcing waiters in traditional restaurant environments to share their tips with bartenders and other support staff. It doesn’t matter what you call those who play a supporting role, either.

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