The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Q. We have an employee with a disability who has requested to work from home part time as an accommodation for her disability. Are we required to grant this request?

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Q. We have seen that some companies are requiring their employees to agree to arbitration rather than a release of claims in their separation agreements. Is this an alternative worth exploring?

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Q. We hired an employee just a few months ago, so he does not qualify for leave under the FMLA. He has requested intermittent time off to care for a family member. We would like to allow him to take the time off, but we aren’t sure how to handle the situation outside of the FMLA. What is your advice?

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Bring Your Own Device programs have taken off—but what are the legal issues and security problems you need to be aware of?

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Hostility isn’t the same as discrimination. Proving it requires an affected employee to show both subjectively and objectively that she endured ridicule or worse—not just that her supervisor was unfair or even discriminated.

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Supervisors sometimes enforce rules in a biased way or discipline members of a protected class more severely than others. But HR can stop this discrimination dead in its tracks with an internal informal audit. Regular monitoring (and fixing any problems you find) may be the best lawsuit-prevention tool around.

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Garcia Forest Service finds itself barred from doing any more federal contract work after Uncle Sam found that it was cutting more than trees while performing forestry services in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota.

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Employees who are fired for misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits. But an unintentional mistake doesn’t block benefits.

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If your union contract has a “just cause” for termination clause, get the union’s sign-off on a covered employee’s last chance agreement.

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Q. An employee has been out on leave and has now run out of FMLA leave. It’s unclear when she will return. Can we terminate her employment?

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