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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Former U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose retaliated against John Marti, a former first assistant U.S. attorney for the district of Minnesota, according to an investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

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Employees who can show direct evidence of age discrimination will get their day in court. That direct evidence often comes after someone who played a part in making an employment decision (e.g., helped select a candidate for hire or promotion) makes a careless statement after the fact.

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If your organization isn’t already planning or implementing measures to cut labor costs, it may soon have to. News that the United States has been in a recession since December 2007 suggests that HR professionals should prepare to reduce the labor burden—if only as a contingency plan.

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The best way to prevent a lawsuit is to promptly respond to every harassment complaint you receive from employees. Conduct a thorough investigation, reach a conclusion and document that you followed up and found no further problems. Be especially sure to show how you counseled or disciplined the harasser…

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Ramsey County prosecutors declined to file felony theft charges against Sonia Pitt, former director of homeland security and emergency management at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, finding her conduct in the wake of the deadly I-35W bridge collapse objectionable, but not criminal.

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How an employer handles an employee who doesn’t show up for work can mean the difference between paying unemployment compensation and not being liable.

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St. Cloud-based Gold’n Plump has agreed to pay $215,000 to a group of Somali Muslim workers to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC. The company also granted the workers an extra paid break for prayer during the second half of each shift.

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Oral agreements concerning compensation and bonus payments can be enforced in court, and that can lead to tricky “who said what” legal problems. Those are problems you can easily prevent with the help of good legal counsel.

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Routine doctors’ appointments such as checkups or annual physicals aren’t considered eligible for FMLA leave, but appointments aimed at diagnosing a condition may be. Employers that know the employee is seeing a specialist as part of the followup to an auto accident, for example, are on notice that the employee may need to take FMLA leave …

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It goes without saying that you should enforce your rules fairly. That’s why you must track every disciplinary action and make a clear record of why each employee earned his discipline. Later, when one of those employees claims the real reason he was fired was due to age, sex or some other protected classification, you can show that wasn’t the case.

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