Employment Law

Need employment law advice? Your employee’s hungry attorney knows the latest on employment at will, reasonable accommodations, and more.

Minimize employer liability, optimize labor relations, bullet-proof your employee handbook and update your knowledge of ADA guidelines with our employment law advice.

Q. Are we required to give our employees additional rest breaks in order to express breast milk?
After an electrical worker suffered severe burns while working on an Illinois wind turbine, OSHA cited the Minnesota company that owns the facility for six willful safety violations.
Make sure an attorney reviews any contracts dealing with employee benefits and the like. A good lawyer will make sure the agreement does what you want it to do and doesn’t have language that may need court interpretation.

Yes, employers must reasonably accom­modate employees with disabilities. But that doesn’t mean they have to provide a perfect workplace—or tolerate subpar performance. Instead, make the accommodations that are reasonable. If the employee still can’t perform her job’s essential functions, you can terminate her.

Michael DeMarquis worked for the Bexar County Office of the Constable for only five months, but between August and December 2009, he says he compiled an extensive list of illegal practices. Now he’s suing the law enforcement agency, claiming he was fired from his job as a warrant clerk in retaliation after he uncovered the following:

It gets tiresome hearing complaints all day. But managers need to understand that showing any irritation when an employee gripes may taint any subsequent disciplinary action against the complainer. The best approach is to accept every complaint with a smile and send it on to HR.

Q. A few employees have told me recently they are fed up with their union and would like to get rid of it. How can I help them? We’d be glad to get rid of the union, too.
Q. We give our employees the opportunity to take up to a one-hour lunch break every day. However, several of our employees have requested to work through their lunch break in order to leave work earlier. Is this legal?

Employees who file EEOC or other complaints about discrimination are protected from retaliation for doing so. But that doesn’t mean employers aren’t allowed to discipline employees who have complained—if the situation legitimately calls for discipline. You must, however, be very careful to document the underlying reasons.

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that employees don’t automatically become eligible for unemployment compensation benefits just because their employer didn’t follow its own progressive disciplinary policy outlined in the employee handbook.