The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Six former employees of the Min­ne­apolis Convention Center are suing, alleging the center discriminates based on age and race. Their lawsuit says minority and older workers were held to different standards than other employees.

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Employers must be careful not to give tipped employees too many additional duties to complete before, during or after their tip-generating activities. If more than about 20% of their time is spent on such activities, you may have to pay them the full minimum wage for those hours, regardless of how much they earn in tips during the shift.

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Here’s something to consider when setting pay rates for jobs in different locations and with slightly different responsibilities: Under the Equal Pay Act, employers can set different salaries based on geographically distinct job locations.

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Here’s some help for HR professionals trying to do all they can to safeguard their organization’s exempt/nonexempt employee classifications—especially in an economic climate that requires companies to do more with less:

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Eventually, every employer will have to investigate some sort of workplace concern. Whether because of a dispute between co-workers or a need to address unethical or unlawful behavior, workplace investigations are an important and delicate exercise. The following tips will help investigations produce useful results.

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Employees have tight deadlines for filing discrimination complaints. But the clock doesn’t start ticking on those deadlines until the employee knows he’s been fired. If you’re terminating someone, be sure to make that clear!

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If an employee gets a certification showing he has a serious health condition under the FMLA, you can request a second, independent assessment. But if the second opinion says the condition isn’t serious, that’s not the final word. FMLA regulations require a third opinion as the tie-breaker.

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3M Companies appears poised to settle a high-profile age discrimination suit. Earlier this year, the company filed a joint motion for preliminary ap­proval of a class-action settlement involving approximately 7,000 workers. If the Ramsey County District Court agrees, the employees (and their attorneys) will split $12 million.

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The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Admin­is­tra­tion (EBSA) has sued Parkland Hotel Investors—once one of the Twin Cities’ biggest commercial financiers—in an attempt to distribute the company’s 401(k) assets to 96 former employees who participated in its retirement plan.

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Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement can’t claim additional quasi-contractual rights, as the following case shows.

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