The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

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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An employee who requests accommodations can sue for retaliation if he can show that his employer punished him for making the request.

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Here’s good news for employers that want to accommodate employees who say they’re disabled, even if it’s not clear they actually are. If you make the accommodations, the employee can’t sue you for regarding her as disabled if it turns out she isn’t really disabled. That means you can safely agree to an accommodation without fearing a lawsuit later.

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Employers rarely go out of their way to interact with the EEOC, but appliance manufacturer Electrolux is earning kudos for doing just that this summer. Electrolux actively sought the EEOC’s input when dealing with a religious accommodation issue facing Muslim employees at its St. Cloud plant.

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For employers and job-seekers alike, unpaid internships seem like an attractive option. But internships come with risks. Before you begin taking on interns, do a thoughtful and careful analysis to make sure state and federal law allows you to classify an individual as an unpaid intern rather than a paid employee.

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Here’s some good news that will make it easier for employers that want to challenge unemployment compensation claims after firing an employee for misconduct. The HR representative who conducted the investigation can testify about what others said, provided that any written statements are also presented.

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Employees who are terminated because they become ill and can’t meet attendance standards can still collect unemployment compensation benefits. But employees terminated because they didn’t follow call-in policies can’t. That’s misconduct, which bars receiving benefits.

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When an employee complains about sexual harassment, the aftermath can be tough. First, there’s an investigation and the anxiety waiting for a final decision. Co-workers may side with the alleged harasser and shun the complaining employee. How you respond to problems like those may mean the difference between winning a retaliation lawsuit and losing.

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If you can’t explain how you select candidates or why you hired one applicant instead of another, get ready for court! However, there’s a simple, two-step way to keep from being sued: 1. Create a hiring process that makes sense. 2. Follow it rigorously.

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Here’s a twist on the already complicated matter of accommodating religious practices in the workplace. Employers might assume that if they come up with an accommodation that resolves the conflict, they have done all that’s required. It’s not that simple.

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