The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

When it comes to reductions in force, employees on FMLA leave don’t have greater rights than those who haven’t taken FMLA leave. That means if an employer can show it would have chosen the FMLA leave-taker for termination even if she had been at work, there’s no FMLA violation. But employers that are sloppy about the RIF process may end up in court.

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Minnesota-based 3M has agreed to pay $3 million to 290 former em­­ployees to settle an EEOC lawsuit that claimed layoffs in 2003 and 2006 disproportionately targeted workers age 45 and older.

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Before you implement an involuntary reduction in force, make sure you determine whether you’re vul­­nerable to an age discrimination lawsuit. You can do this by seeing what percentage of the workforce was over age 40 before the planned layoff …

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Workplace bullying is an issue that employers should pay attention to—to get ahead of potential legal obligations and mitigate the high business costs of bullying. Some steps employers might consider taking include: Adopt a “no jerks” rule, and adopt and en­­force an anti-bullying policy.

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Last year, Electrolux agreed to adjust its break schedule to accommodate Muslim employees working the evening shift at its St. Cloud plant. The EEOC mediated last year’s agreement in a process that was hailed as a model of cooperation between the employer, employees and the federal government. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

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Employees placed on performance improvement plans (PIP) sometimes suspect that they are about to be fired. But that doesn’t mean they can jump the gun, quit and apply for unemployment compensation.

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Employees who receive workers’ compensation payments for on-the-job injuries are assumed to have retired when they hit age 67. But a recent lawsuit argued that workers’ comp payments had to continue past that cutoff age because an employer had negotiated a legal settlement that didn’t specify that the payments would end at age 67. Fortunately, the Supreme Court of Minnesota has ruled otherwise.

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Here’s an important reminder to pass along to managers and supervisors: Simply dismissing a disabled employee’s request for accommodations is folly unless it is crystal clear that no accommodation is possible.

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Soldiers who take military leave for active service or training are generally entitled to return to their jobs when they finish their military service. They even have protection from being terminated without cause if they served long enough. But USERRA does not protect employees who fail to follow existing company rules when they return or try to return.

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Soldiers who take military leave for active service or training are generally entitled to return to their jobs when they finish their military service. They even have protection from being terminated without cause if they served long enough. But USERRA does not protect employees who fail to follow existing company rules when they return or try to return.

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