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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

In Minnesota, an employee who has a medical condition that prevents him from working can still collect unemployment benefits if he quits. But before he quits, he has to tell his employer about the medical problem so the employer has a chance to offer time off and continued employment when he returns.

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A former Rochester Police Depart­­ment officer and Army veteran is suing the city, alleging it broke the law when it refused to rehire him after he finished two tours of combat duty in Iraq.

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The Alexandria Shooting Park in Alexandria recently found out that having a parent’s permission isn’t enough to make it legal to hire an underage worker—or to shield an em­­ployer from child labor law violations.

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More and more employees use cellphones and smartphones to get their work done, something many employers encourage in the name of greater efficiency. But there’s a downside: significant safety and financial risks created by employees who use mobile devices while driving. Here’s some common-sense perspective on protecting your employees … and your bottom line.

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You may be tempting fate—and a Fair Labor Standards Act class-action lawsuit—if you demand so much productivity from employees that they can’t reasonably get everything done within the time you allow. The problem: Employees may feel compelled to work off the clock.

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The Minneapolis Fire Department isn’t adequately staffed and can’t cover the costs of “increasing sick-time usage, injury rates and overtime,” according to a report by a public safety consulting firm the city hired to analyze persistent staffing woes.

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When the Castle Rock Supper Club in Hawley was accused of illegally employing teenagers, the owners tried to persuade state regulators that it was OK because their establishment is “not a drinking man’s bar” but “more of a family restaurant.” The regulators were unmoved …

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Rodd Wagner has written best-selling books telling employers how to treat their employees more ethically. That didn’t prevent him from being fired from his job as a management consultant at Gallup, Inc.

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People living in the United States are protected from state actions that violate the Constitution, a right that goes beyond those accorded to employees under Title VII.

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Punitive damages can take a case that’s worth just a few thousand dollars and send the tab skyrocketing. Fortunately, courts want to see clear evidence that the employer acted recklessly before they ask juries if punitive damages are appropriate.

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