The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Rudeness is likely to sneak into the workplace no matter how many civility rules you post. Unless the behavior is clearly abusive or obviously offensive to a protected class, don’t lose too much sleep over a potential lawsuit.

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Things are not peaceful at the Oasis Café in Stillwater. When the state’s higher minimum wage took effect on Aug. 1, the restaurant began charging a 35-cent “minimum wage fee” on each order. Restaurant management claims the charge is to highlight the burden the wage hike places on small businesses.

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Remind bosses: Be careful how you approach discussing potential retirement plans. Asking too often or in a way that’s not business-related may precipitate an age discrimination lawsuit if the employee loses her job or is demoted after such conversations.

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A female HR director delivered St. Cloud-based Royal Tire a kick when she sued the company for an Equal Pay Act violation.

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Here’s a surefire way to spur a lawsuit and ensure it goes to trial: Just fire an employee who has been the target of her boss’s racial slurs.

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A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack.

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Faced with declining revenues and staff shortages that mean more overtime hours, managers may be tempted to adjust time records to reflect fewer hours worked. But this is a dangerous tactic.

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Here’s a tip that may save you from unnecessary litigation: When it comes to disciplining a disruptive worker, focus on the behavior. Don’t speculate on the reason the employee may be disruptive.

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When the EEOC issues a so-called “right to sue” letter, the recipient has just 90 days to file a federal lawsuit. But courts are increasingly reluctant to dismiss cases filed within a few days of the deadline.

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Do you have a time clock system that employees use to record the hours they work? Make sure it allows hourly employees to record the overtime they work. Otherwise, they may later argue that they worked overtime hours and your time-keeping system was designed to discourage them from tracking those extra hours and getting paid overtime.

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