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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Here’s how routine discrimination claims turn ugly fast: A supervisor or manager gets it in her head that she’s going to punish an employee for complaining. While it’s hard for employees to win most discrimination cases, it’s relatively easy for them to win retaliation claims.

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You can learn a lot about an employee during the first few weeks. Missing work then probably means attendance will be a problem later. Having stricter rules during the initial probationary period will help you weed out problem employees.

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One of the first laws passed this year by the Minnesota Legislature will help about 3,000 Minnesotans who were about to exhaust their unemployment benefits …

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Minneapolis-based Target, the nation’s second largest discount retailer, has announced it will cut 1,000 jobs in Minneapolis alone. Those cuts include 400 open but unfilled positions, in addition to 600 layoffs.

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A female police officer who was placed on administrative leave after being accused of writing false traffic-warning citations has received a payout from her employer, the Hastings Police Department.

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Government employees who speak out on matters of public importance and are punished for doing so may be able to sue for unlawful retaliation. They may even be able to make those claims years later—if they can show a connection between speaking out and an adverse employment action.

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Best Buy, the nation’s largest electronics retailer, will cut an undisclosed number of jobs at its Richfield headquarters. The news comes after 500 employees already left under a voluntary buyout program.

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Two companies headquartered in Minnesota have made the 2009 Fortune magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For” list: General Mills of Minneapolis and the Mayo Clinic of Rochester.

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Sometimes, disabled applicants and employees try to insist on a particular accommodation. They expect employers to blindly agree to their suggestions without considering the expense or inconvenience. Don’t fall into that trap.

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Some employees mistakenly believe that, just because they have been diagnosed with a serious condition, they are disabled and entitled to an accommodation. Employers can and should analyze the claimed disability to see whether it really substantially impairs one of the employee’s major life functions. The diagnosis alone is not enough. It’s just the starting point.

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