The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

When Elizabeth Johnson complained about unsafe working conditions at the Northland Learning Center, a cooperative of alternative schools for children with disabilities in Minnesota’s Iron Range, her boss took no action. Frustrated, Johnson wrote an anonymous letter to the local newspaper outlining the problems. That got the school’s attention …

{ 0 comments }

When an employee believes it’s necessary to end-run a supervisor to complain about potentially illegal conduct, resist the temptation to ignore the complaint. And whatever you do, don’t tell the whistle-blower to take it up with the supervisor.

{ 0 comments }

One of the best ways to guarantee an employee will get her FMLA case in front of a jury is for her boss to mention her use of FMLA leave while discussing termination. The best idea: Have someone neutral from HR deliver the news that the employee is being let go.

{ 0 comments }

Not everyone who has a learning disability or even mild retardation is disabled. Under the ADA, every disability is measured by the individual’s condition and whether or not the condition he claims is disabling substantially impairs a major life function. Thus, someone with minor intellectual deficits may not be disabled under the ADA.

{ 0 comments }

Two Minnesota icons have been named to Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Employees claim the Mayo Clinic provides the best possible care for its patients and has the same attitude toward its employees. Food conglomerate General Mills just made the list at No. 99—the magazine cited the company’s expanding infant day care program.

{ 0 comments }

Disabled employees and their employers often disagree about how to accommodate a disability. Employees sometimes mistakenly believe that they’re entitled to the exact accommodation they prefer. That’s just not true. The fact is, an employer has the right to pick the accommodation it prefers—as long as that accommodation is reasonable.

{ 0 comments }

Employers are often confused about how much absenteeism they must allow for employees who haven’t worked long enough to be covered by the FMLA, and who aren’t otherwise entitled to miss work as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. The bottom line is that if you treat everyone equally, you can set high attendance expectations—and fire those who don’t meet them.

{ 0 comments }

Here’s some good news if you use truly independent contractors to perform work. If you have done it right, you don’t have to worry about losing an age discrimination lawsuit. But there’s a caveat: You must make sure you can easily prove your contractor wasn’t really an employee.

{ 0 comments }

The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, which investigates discrimination charges, has been sued over an allegedly negligent investigation.

{ 0 comments }

Employees who are called to active military service have certain job protections, including the right to return to their old or similar jobs. But those rights have limits. The law doesn’t require reinstating a veteran to her old job at the same facility where she worked before if the employer no longer has jobs there.

{ 0 comments }