The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

An employee who loses a lawsuit over her termination can’t revive the litigation a second time just by coming up with a second claim that could have been raised earlier.

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If you are in the health care industry and have several facilities, it might be convenient to have one union represent all your employees. Just don’t expect the National Labor Relations Board to buy that argument.

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St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman talked up the city’s paid leave program at the White House just ahead of Presi­­dent Obama’s State of the Union. Effective Jan. 1, city employees may now take paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Birth parents receive four weeks of paid leave.

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The Hertz car rental operation at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport faces charges it discriminated against Mus­­lim employees and harassed them. The employees, who worked cleaning vehicles, claimed managers would routinely walk in on their prayers de­­manding to see the employees’ badges.

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A poor performer may disappoint on many levels, doing lousy work and failing to get along with others … harassing co-workers and fudging time sheets. While you should document all the problems, you don’t have to cite every one when you terminate the employee. Pick one and stick with it.

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The EEOC has won a reduction of a large attorneys’ fee award it had been ordered to pay for an allegedly frivolous lawsuit.

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Don’t count on getting off the hook if you are sued as a joint employer.

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Some employees think they can keep from getting fired by going to HR or the EEOC with a discrimination complaint. Then, they reason, if their employer does terminate them, it will be retaliation. Fortunately, that’s not true.

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Employees who take FMLA leave are generally entitled to come back to their old jobs when they return. If you make any changes to their jobs, be sure you can document solid business reasons that are unrelated to FMLA leave.

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You may prefer a “don’t rock the boat” mentality when it comes to reporting to police or other governmental authorities that a customer may be breaking the law. That doesn’t mean you can force employees to remain silent—or worse yet, punish them for going to authorities. Doing that could cost a fortune in damage awards, especially if it turns out that your employee was right.

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