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.

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Public employees who speak out on matters of public importance are engaging in protected speech. However, that protection has limits. When the “speech” is rude, offensive or threatening—and it occurs at work—the employer is free to punish the employee for the speech’s delivery (not its content).
Employers that decide to add an arbitration agreement to their conditions of employment often try to get every employee’s signature on the document. But what if some employees don’t sign? What will you do? Can you count on the agreement being binding anyway? That’s unclear.
No matter how well or poorly management handles it, a RIF means an organization is traveling down a difficult road. Here are four critical and often overlooked RIF pitfalls that can make the route more treacherous than it needs to be.

HR Law 101: Several sources of financial assistance are available to help businesses make reasonable accommodations and comply with ADA requirements. 

The Minnesota Parental Leave Act provides up to six weeks of leave for childbirth and recovery or adoption. Employees who take leave are entitled to reinstatement. It also includes a provision for extending parental leave, stating that leave “may not exceed six weeks, unless agreed to by the employer.” Until now, it remained up in the air what should happen to the reinstatement right if the employer agreed to a longer leave.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently gave employers some certainty regarding the state’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act. But that certainty is a double-edged sword.

Q. We recently received a complaint that one of our sales reps had sent false emails and texts about one customer to another. We determined that the emails and texts have been sent from the cell­­phone we provide to the sales rep. We asked the service provider to send us copies of the emails and text messages. The service provider refused our request. Why can’t we get that information?

Many employers assume that the National Labor Relations Ac, enacted over 70 years ago, applies only to unionized workplaces and employees who belong to unions. Not true. In fact, the NLRA covers almost all employees and private employers.

Q. We have several employees who drive commercial motor vehicles. We have heard that there are rules about the use of cellphones by those drivers. How do those rules affect us?

If your severance packages to departing workers include a waiver of future potential lawsuits, that’s a smart strategy. But be aware that small mistakes with severance packages—especially for older workers—can lead to big problems in court.
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