The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

It’s one of the worst HR nightmares possible: One disgruntled employee claims she represents hundreds or thousands of employees who have allegedly suffered discrimination. What was a single case suddenly grows into a huge, companywide class-action lawsuit—with a price tag that has suddenly grown exponentially. Fortunately, federal courts handling Minnesota cases seem to be stepping back from the brink. They’re not approving as many class-action requests.

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Once you’ve made the tough decision to terminate an employee, stick to it. If you let the employee talk you into reconsidering, you may end up with a lawsuit over whether a contract had been created.

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Employers have a new primer from the EEOC on how to craft legally compliant severance agreements. Although Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements was designed to answer employee questions about severance agreements, it offers useful guidance to employers, too.

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According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minnesota lost 30,000 union jobs last year, and the rate of union membership statewide declined a full percentage point from 16.1% to 15.1%.

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According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minnesota lost 30,000 union jobs last year, and the rate of union membership statewide declined a full percentage point from 16.1% to 15.1%.

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Home improvement giant Lowe’s is offering free health screenings to its employees. Lowe’s operates 13 stores in Minnesota, with more than 1,500 employees.

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It’s simply impossible to prevent all sexual harassment incidents. But you can take steps to protect your organization from most sexual harassment lawsuits. Make sure your sexual harassment reporting policy is clear, specific and well publicized.

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The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act provides job protection for employees who serve in the military and prohibits retaliation against anyone—including co-workers—who participates in an investigation or proceeding to enforce the law. But petty aggravations aren’t retaliatory.

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Schwan’s, the Marshall-based frozen food company, must turn over data requested by the EEOC in a long-running sex discrimination case. Judge Janie Myeron ruled in favor of the EEOC’s subpoena requesting demographic data on employees who have entered the company’s management trainee program.

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Sometimes, all it takes to stop a potential lawsuit based on a supervisor’s poor behavior is a timely warning. Take, for example, what might happen if a subordinate believed her supervisor was targeting her for poor treatment because of her race. If HR takes a strong stance and persuades the supervisor to change her approach, then a potential lawsuit may dissolve into nothing.

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