The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

You no doubt know you should act fast to investigate when employees complain about discrimination. But that doesn’t mean you need to rush to complete your inquiry in just one day.

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A federal court has refused to expand the FMLA, rejecting an employee’s attempt to force automatic FMLA leave for a serious health condition allegedly caused by her employer.

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A supposedly confidential sexual harassment complaint has become an election issue in the Dodge County sheriff’s race. An employee in the sheriff’s office claims she was sexually harassed by current Sheriff Jim Trihey.

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Faced with falling revenue, the counties that fund the Great River Regional Library System last year implemented what they hoped would be cost-saving measures. The unwanted results: Two age-discrimination lawsuits, the unionization of library managers, higher unemployment comp costs and spiraling legal fees.

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Train supervisors and managers on situations that could trigger the FMLA leave determination process. The best approach is to suggest they notify HR if an employee calls in sick and implies anything more than “I’m sick today.” If the employee provides any detail that makes it seem likely he or a family member is suffering from a serious health condition, he should be referred to HR to determine if he’s eligible for FMLA leave.

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It’s not often an employer wins a case against the EEOC, but Hibbing Taconite has convinced a federal jury in Duluth that it did not discriminate against a deaf job applicant. James Edstrom, of Eveleth, applied for truck driver and equipment operator positions at Hibbing Taconite. Surprise! Iron Range firm wins EEOC ADA case It’s […]

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If you’re deciding whether to fire an employee for attendance problems (under a no-fault attendance policy, for example), you must make sure you aren’t counting FMLA leave against her. However, all is not lost if you accidentally add in an FMLA absence—as long as you can show you still would have fired the employee because of other attendance problems.

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Call it a missed opportunity. Call it a misunderstanding. Nancy Grozdanich-Lipinski did neither. She called her lawyer. Grozdanich-Lipinski is suing her former employer, Delta Airlines, for violations of the ADA.

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When an employee complains about racial prejudice or harassment, don’t brush it off. Instead, act right away. Even a briefly hostile environment may mean a big award.

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The best sexual harassment policy sets up many ways for employees to lodge complaints. Here’s why: Sometimes low-level supervisors don’t take harassment as seriously as they should. If your sexual harassment policy tells employees to complain to their bosses without offering an alternative, they could become frustrated or angry. Plus, the alleged offensive behavior could very well escalate.

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