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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Sometimes, employees who do great at one job lay an egg when promoted up the org chart. When that happens, and you find you have to terminate the employee, be sure to document exactly what went wrong. Otherwise, the employee may sue, claiming some sort of discrimination …

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Employees who become disabled, request accommodations that never materialize and then resign may end up getting unemployment compensation. But if disabled employees fail to request accommodations, they’re out of luck …

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Col. Mike Hamm, head of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Enforcement Division, retired in September amid speculation that he was about to be fired …

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The EEOC has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Laura Vallejos, a former customer service agent for Northwest Airlines’ subsidiary, Mesaba Airlines, based in Eagan. She claims she was fired for refusing to work past sundown on Fridays, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath …

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Some employees have chips on their shoulders—everything is always someone else’s fault, not theirs. They constantly pester supervisors and higher-ups with complaints about discrimination, retaliation and general unfairness. How is an employer supposed to deal with such constant whining? …

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has won a significant victory in an overtime lawsuit filed by two customer service representatives. A court has denied a petition to elevate the case to class-action status—a decision that could save the insurer millions of dollars if it eventually loses.

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After a year of negotiating and two EEOC lawsuits, Gold’n Plump Inc. of St. Cloud granted Muslim workers an extra 10-minute break for prayers and allowed them to refuse to work with pork products …

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Macy’s has rescinded a manager’s ad hoc English-only rule after six employees at the company’s Southdale Mall store in Edina complained to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Minnesota. The workers said a manager allegedly threatened to fire them if they spoke “even one word” of Somali on the job …

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The FMLA clearly doesn’t cover employees who take time off work to care for a sick girlfriend or boyfriend. However, as a new case shows, employees can legally take FMLA leave to care for a girlfriend’s or boyfriend’s child, if the employee has assumed day-to-day responsibility for that child. Learn more about this crucial distinction.

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Employees are entitled to work in a harassment-free environment—and that includes more than freedom from harassment by supervisors and co-workers. Employers also have to take reasonable steps to protect workers from harassment by customers, clients and others over which the employer has some control …

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