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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Macy’s has rescinded a manager’s ad hoc English-only rule after six employees at the company’s Southdale Mall store in Edina complained to the Council on American-Islamic Relations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 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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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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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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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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Internal promotions are tricky. Supervisors usually try to choose between two or three known candidates—subordinates with whom they have worked with day in and day out. It’s tempting, then, to choose the employee who seems the most cooperative and the best team player. Resist that temptation …

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A group of current and former drivers and ride-along helpers for Waste Management Inc. (WMI) has filed a lawsuit claiming the company routinely required them to work through breaks without pay to finish their routes on time …

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During difficult economic times, businesses consider various cost-cutting measures—and shrinking the company’s workforce often tops the list. But failing to give employees adequate notice of layoffs can quickly turn a cost-savings initiative into a significant liability …

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