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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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Marathon Petroleum Corp. has paid a $700,000 fine for dumping benzene, a known carcinogen, into an unlined lagoon near the Mississippi River in 2010. Since the incident, Marathon has sold the facility located in St. Paul Park.
Ordinarily, employers aren’t liable for workers’ injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance covers them. But if managers ignore safety guidelines that they know could prevent injuries, the employee can sue.
Willmar-based Jennie-O Turkey Stores faces 11 safety violations after a machine at its Barron, Wisc., slaughterhouse cut off an employee’s arm.

What should you do if an employee produces a health care professional’s diagnosis of stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), along with a recommendation to reassign the employee? Do you accept that the employee is disabled and consider the reassignment as a reasonable accommodation?

Sometimes, a new job doesn’t work out—and the new kid on the block is the first to be let go in a downturn. That’s when his previous employer may be in for a surprise.
If you use arbitration to resolve disputes, now is a good time to have your attorney review your arbitration agreement. A federal court in Minnesota has recently concluded that a valid arbitration agreement may allow collective-action arbitration, even if the agreement itself never mentions the possibility.
Morgantown-based Morgan Truck Body has been cited for 24 safety and health violations at a factory in Georgia. The citations result from OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which scrutinizes industries with high occupational illness and injury rates.
Employees who commit “aggravated misconduct” and are terminated may not be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Therefore, some employers may assume that when an employee is arrested and charged with a felony related to work, it makes sense to fire the employee. Not necessarily.

You may think that a long-term arrangement with an independent contractor to provide professional services will never be considered an employment relationship. But that’s not true if you exert too much control over the way the work is done. And according to a recent Commonwealth Court decision, it doesn’t take all that much control.

When training managers and supervisors on how to treat subordinates, make sure they understand they should never make any belligerent statements that could be interpreted as defamation or slander.
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