The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee who previously agreed to waive her right to file a class-action overtime lawsuit does indeed have to rely on individual arbitration of her claim.

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Before you decide to convert employees to independent contractors, remember that it isn’t the label that counts, but the actual work per­­formed. Calling someone an independent contractor doesn’t make him one.

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Participants in Ameriprise’s 401(k) plan are suing the investment firm, claiming it operated the retirement program for its own benefit, not its employees and retirees.

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Bosses may not like it, but em­­ployees have the right to complain about their working conditions. Characterizing those complaints as unfounded gossip doesn’t change that—and should never be a reason for termination …

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Workplace romance has long been the bane of the HR profession. A December 2012 Iowa Supreme Court decision in Nelson v. Knight has further roiled the workplace romance waters by holding that an employer could terminate an employee for being “irresistible.”

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Several construction companies working on a renovation of the student union ballroom on the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University will have to pay more than $38,000 in back overtime wages. To blame: overly generous scheduling practices.

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Employees who question your timekeeping process may be setting you up for an FLSA lawsuit. How you respond may make the difference between winning and losing. If you promptly fix what turns out to have been an innocent mistake, the court probably won’t consider the original complaint protected activity.

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You never know which unsuccessful job applicant will sue. That’s why it is crucial to internally document why you rejected a candidate. Bonus: You can also use the information for an informal internal audit to make sure a hiring manager isn’t inadvertently discriminating.

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Aerospace and defense contractor ATK has agreed to pay a job applicant $100,000 after she complained about discriminatory hiring practices at the company’s Eden Prairie plant.

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Some nonprofit Minnesota em­­ployers can opt into an alternative unemployment compensation plan that allows skipping quarterly unemployment taxes in exchange for reimbursing the state for any benefits paid. Good news for those employers: The alternative plan doesn’t affect unemployment eligibility.

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