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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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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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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A new 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case allows employers to use an employee’s FMLA certification as the basis for requesting a fitness-for-duty exam if the certification asserts that the employee can’t perform an essential function of her job. That’s especially true in high-pressure professions when an alleged FMLA serious health condition affects an employee’s ability to function while at work.

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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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The Minnesota Nurses Association signed a three-year collective bargaining agreement with 14 Twin Cities hospitals on July 6, just days before a strike deadline set by the union. The hospitals had sought the right to “float” registered nurses to any hospital at any time, but eventually backed off that demand and a proposal to modify nurse pensions.

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Minnetonka-based Opus Corp. and its founder, Gerald Rauenhorst, face charges they illegally shifted corporate funds so they wouldn’t have to pay a subsidiary’s employees and fund their pensions.

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Halunen & Associates will not represent any of the plaintiffs in Gifford v. Target Corp., a major class-action overtime suit, after a federal judge ruled that the firm’s previous contact with a Target official may have revealed privileged company information.

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