The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Union-free employers should consider acting now to keep their operations union-free, given the nature of the changes that are likely to come with enactment of the Employee Free Choice Act. The law would make it more difficult for employers to oppose union organizing, and would limit employers’ bargaining power if they do become unionized.

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Erik Forman, a barista at a Minneapolis Starbucks who claimed he was fired in July for promoting a union drive, is pouring ventes again after the java giant settled a National Labor Relations Board complaint he filed.

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St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said he will discipline two employees responsible for hanging a stuffed monkey by a noose in a fire station service garage in August. Butler said he learned about the monkey in September, when he ordered an investigation and had the items taken down.

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The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities has recognized 11 companies for their innovative approaches to employing developmentally disabled workers. Award recipients include three grocery stores: Coborn’s in Buffalo, Byerly’s in Golden Valley and Culver’s in Stillwater.

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The EEOC has filed a lawsuit against Burnsville-based Data Listing Services (DLS), claiming the company harbored a hostile work environment in one of its call centers. The lawsuit alleges that a worker at The Connection, a DLS call center in Moriarty, N.M., sexually harassed female workers …

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Sometimes, it’s tempting to offer a disgruntled employee a quick cash settlement in exchange for her signature on a liability release. If a few thousand dollars will avoid an expensive lawsuit, it’s worth it, right? Maybe, maybe not …

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Just when you thought you had mastered the intricacies of the FMLA, employees and their lawyers have come up with a new trick that could trip you. This one involves how employers calculate attendance under no-fault absenteeism programs.

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Fairmont-based MowMar Farms has fired six workers at its newly acquired farm near Bayard, Iowa, after a videotape revealed that some employees routinely abused pigs there. The footage, shot by PETA, showed workers slamming piglets on a concrete floor…

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If you have a zero-tolerance policy for employees drinking alcohol on duty, employees who are fired for breaking the rules may be denied unemployment compensation benefits—even if the employee wasn’t impaired enough to be criminally charged with drunken driving.

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Faced with budget woes, the University of Minnesota has decided to control costs “sooner rather than later” with a “hiring pause,” University President Robert Bruininks told the Associated Press.

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