Employment Law

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With President Obama taking the oath of office this month, employers are wondering what his second term will mean for them. Here is a sampling of the issues.
The former president of Pinehurst Bank in St. Paul will serve 42 months in federal prison following convictions on five counts of misapplying bank funds in a 2010 check-kiting scheme. The resulting losses forced the bank to close in May 2010.
Not every complaint about what might be construed as a benefit amounts to protected activity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has redesigned four required workplace posters. The new posters cover safety and health regulations, wage and overtime law, age discrimination and retirement and procedures injured employees should follow at work.

In Minnesota, employees can sometimes qualify for unemployment compensation if they quit because they had to endure tough working conditions. But that’s only true if they let their employer know about workplace problems and the employer doesn’t respond. Simply walking off the job in anger doesn’t cut it.
Q. The EEOC wants us to participate in mediation. Should we? If we don’t, will it make the investigator think we’re trying to hide something?
Courts usually defer to an em­­ployer’s designations of essential job functions as long as there’s a clear, reasonable explanation of why they are essential. That’s true even in compelling ADA cases where it’s clear a disabled employee is capable and could do the job if only she didn’t have to perform just one of those functions.
Courts are getting tough on employees who file multiple lawsuits in different forums by requiring consolidation into one court. Employees who don’t cooperate end up out of court.
The 2012 session of the California Legislature resulted in passage and enactment of several important employment law bills, including inspection of personnel files, workers' comp and religious dress and grooming.
The NLRB has continued its assault on garden-variety em­­ploy­­ment policies, issuing three decisions in recent weeks, each of which concluded that facially neutral employment policies violated employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity.
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