The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 63
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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

The Minneapolis NAACP has leveled charges of discrimination against the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board. The group claims board practices are biased against minority employees and city residents.

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Sometimes, a new job doesn’t work out—and the new kid on the block is the first to be let go in a downturn. That’s when his previous employer may be in for a surprise.

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If you use arbitration to resolve disputes, now is a good time to have your attorney review your arbitration agreement. A federal court in Minnesota has recently concluded that a valid arbitration agreement may allow collective-action arbitration, even if the agreement itself never mentions the possibility.

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Employees who commit “aggravated misconduct” and are terminated may not be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Therefore, some employers may assume that when an employee is arrested and charged with a felony related to work, it makes sense to fire the employee. Not necessarily.

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When training managers and supervisors on how to treat subordinates, make sure they understand they should never make any belligerent statements that could be interpreted as defamation or slander.

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Under the ADA, employees who claim to be disabled must show that their condition substantially im­­­pairs a major life function. Min­ne­sota has its own version of the law. It requires that employees show their condition materially impairs a major life function. That’s a lower standard, but still a tough one for employees to prove.

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Disabled employees may have trouble doing their jobs without an accommodation. If you simply tell the employee to figure out a way to perform the job and refuse to help find an accommodation, the em­­ployee may quit and apply for unemployment.

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Here’s a reminder for government hiring managers: While ordinarily, such supervisors have qualified immunity, that’s not the case if the decision not to hire is based on an applicant’s political beliefs.

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The federal Equal Pay Act (EPA) is supposed to ensure that men and women doing the same job aren’t paid differently based on their sex. But employees can’t win EPA lawsuits simply by comparing their rates of pay and job titles. Lots of factors unrelated to gender may in­­fluence pay.

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Some employees facing criticism will own up to the problem and work to improve. Others simply refuse to recognize that their per­­formance is subpar or contributing to discord in the workplace. Either way, it’s worth at least ex­­tend­­ing to the employee a chance to improve and keep his job—after you have docu­mented the nature of the problem.

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