The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law, Author at Business Management Daily - Page 11 of 62 — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 11
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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Employees who claim they quit be-cause their employer wouldn’t address harassment or discrimination are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits—if they gave the employer a chance to remedy the situation.

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Generally, if an employer gives an employee consistently good reviews, courts will view that as evidence that the employer was satisfied with the worker’s job performance. An employee who alleges discrimination or retaliation can then use those good reviews to show that something else must have been the reason for a sudden discharge.

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Noting that health care workers are more than four times more likely than other employees to experience workplace violence, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a new website to help health care providers curtail violence at work.

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Some workers think that anytime their employer criticizes an emotional state or suggests therapy, the employer is “regarding” them as disabled. Thus, goes the argument, the employer violates the ADA when it tries to intervene.

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Under Minnesota unemployment compensation law, individuals aren’t independent contractors just because the company that uses their labor says they are.

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Q. We have a long-time employee who will accumulate the necessary points under our retirement program to become fully vested in his retirement benefit on his next birthday, which is in April. At that time, the employee will be 63 years old. He has not talked about how long he intends to continue working or his plan for retirement with our management team, which is concerned about having enough time to transition the employee’s work in the event that he abruptly retires. Can we ask this employee about his retirement plans without creating a claim of age discrimination? (Of course, the employee is also having performance issues, and management would prefer that he retire upon vesting in the retirement program.)

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Employees who quit generally aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation. Unless something occurred that would compel a reasonable worker quit, employees won’t get benefits.

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You don’t necessarily have to fire someone who committed a single act of sexual harassment—as long as the conduct wasn’t truly outrageous or continuous. Sometimes, it’s fine to issue a reprimand and then monitor the employee to ensure the situation doesn’t recur.

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Q. An employee brought to the attention of his supervisor that a co-worker had posted a comment on social media saying that her supervisor is Scrooge, that the supervisor is probably planning to fire a bunch of people right before the holidays, and that everyone should complain about her unfair behavior so that the supervisor is the one who will get fired. The company has a social media policy that prohibits making disparaging comments about it or its employees. Can the company discipline the posting co-worker for these comments?

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Q. At our company holiday party, which was not at the workplace or during work hours, an employee told some inappropriate jokes and put an arm around a co-worker who did not appreciate it and complained. The company is aware that the employee took a leave of absence for treatment of chemical dependency and is concerned that the employee might have been drinking at the party. Can the company discipline the employee? The company would like the employee to get additional help for chemical dependency.

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Q. We have an employee who was employed with our company from May, 2010 until April, 2011. The employee was rehired in 2015 and worked approximately nine months. Has the employee satisfied the requirement of 12 months of employment despite the three-year gap in employment under the FMLA?

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Q. We terminated an employee’s employment because of a recent conviction. A state agency has asked for details about the reason for the termination. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, what can we share with the agency regarding details on background checks?

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Money left for workers in places where tipping is typical becomes the property of the workers for which the money is intended. If employees tell you that the money is disappearing and that a supervisor is responsible, check out the allegations.

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Are you settling a discrimination case with termination and a back or front pay agreement? Be sure to work with counsel to find the most effective way to apply the payment. Done properly, a back pay or front pay lump sum may mean the employee can’t collect unemployment compensation payments.

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Employees terminated for dishonesty aren’t entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. And being dishonest can involve breaking company rules to gain an advantage even if there’s no direct theft involved. Just be sure that before you terminate the worker for breaking the rule, you document the incident and can explain why you believe she acted dishonestly.

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Sometimes, applicants don’t know how much money to ask for. That’s especially true if their target employer isn’t open about salary ranges or how much it is willing to pay for a particular job. What should you do if an applicant is asking for less money than the position potentially pays?

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Make sure that any entity you hire to conduct fitness-for-duty exams understands their responsibility to exclude genetic information requests from the determination. Otherwise, you may be liable for Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act violations. The employee doesn’t have to add the providers to the lawsuit.

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Most employers are aware that certain dress and grooming practices generally must be accommodated in the workplace.

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Q. We have a workforce that largely works remotely, some hundreds of miles from our corporate office. For a variety of reasons, we will be reclassifying a number of these individuals from independent contractor status to employees. Given that we will need I-9s for the employees, do we need to personally see the required identification documents, or can the employees send us facsimiles/scans, etc.? If we need to see the forms personally, what is the best way to do that?

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Here’s a tip that can help you streamline the hiring process if you reasonably believe you will have a large number of applicants. Instead of listing preferred qualifications, include a longer list of required ones. That way, you should be able to whittle down the applicant list to those candidates closest to your ideal candidates.

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