The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Independent contractors aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation, and their clients don’t have to pay into the unemployment compensation trust fund, as the following case shows.

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Tim Murnane left real estate development firm Opus Northwest in June 2009 after negotiating a $2 million severance package to be paid out over 10 years. Murnane took a new position with St. Louis-based Clayco Inc., another developer in the Twin Cities area. All was going well until March, when a scheduled $79,266 payment from Opus failed to arrive in Murnane’s mailbox …

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The Minnesota Senate will hold hearings on the Constitutional Amendment for Equality (CAFE), a state-level equivalent of the federal Equal Rights Amendment that failed to win ratification in the 1970s and ’80s. In a statement, Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party legislators said the amendment to the Minnesota constitution would protect women’s rights in ways statutes can’t.

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When Congress raised the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots from 60 to 65, not all pilots were pleased. Pilots who had been forced to retire under the 60-years-of-age rule were not grandfathered into the new system. Now the pilots are seeking back pay and lost wages under state laws and the Federal Tort Claims Act.

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Is arbitration the best forum in which employers should try to resolve statutory claims. Significantly, some employers have begun to abandon mandatory arbitration in recent years. Here are some of the issues employers must consider when deciding whether to require arbitration of employees’ statutory claims.

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Minnesota residents had one of the nation’s highest per capita state tax rates in 2009, according to the watchdog web site Taxadmin.org. Minnesota ranked 8th in state per capital taxes last year, the same ranking it held in 2008.

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The EEOC has won the first round of a battle against early-retirement incentive plans that are based strictly on age. If you have such a plan, make sure you review its legal status with your attorney.

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The EEOC has won the first round of a battle against early-retirement incentive plans that are based strictly on age. If you have such a plan, make sure you review its legal status with your attorney.

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Once you’ve made the tough decision to terminate an employee, stick to it. If you let the employee talk you into reconsidering, you may end up with a lawsuit over whether a contract had been created.

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Employers have a new primer from the EEOC on how to craft legally compliant severance agreements. Although Understanding Waivers of Discrimination Claims in Employee Severance Agreements was designed to answer employee questions about severance agreements, it offers useful guidance to employers, too.

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