The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

The Minnesota state legislature has made significant employer-friendly changes to the veterans’ preference law that state, county, and municipal governments must follow, making it easier to terminate employees who aren’t working out.

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Employees who quit their jobs for a compelling reason but who don’t give their employers a chance to fix the problem aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.

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When employees say stupid things, take some small comfort: Not every stray comment will be grounds for a successful lawsuit.

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If you have a handbook that provides workers with a limited right to contest proposed discipline, make sure it also has a very strong at-will statement.

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When an employee files a sex discrimination lawsuit alleging unequal pay for equal work, the employer merely needs to show that the reason for the discrepancy is something other than sex.

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The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Minnesota employers, has come out against the NLRB’s interpretation on arbitration agreements.

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One remedy for discrimination is reinstatement. However, employers should be prepared to argue against reinstatement if there are reasons unrelated to a lawsuit that it is not a workable option. Here’s how one employer did that.

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Make sure HR staff know how to calculate FMLA leave and keep careful tabs on how that leave is used. That way, you minimize chances that an employee will receive erroneous information that could lead to a lawsuit alleging that you interfered with someone’s FMLA rights.

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If you place obstacles in the way of reporting potential sexual harassment, expect trouble. Employees who have to jump through hoops to get their concerns addressed may sue.

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Do you offer voluntary overtime to employees, but make attendance mandatory if employees sign up? If so, watch how you calculate FMLA leave. You have to include the overtime in the calculation of available FMLA hours, or you can’t subtract FMLA hours for an absence.

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