The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law, Author at Business Management Daily - Page 40 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 40
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The HR Specialist: Minnesota Employment Law

Employees who have been fired generally qualify for unemployment benefits unless they were terminated for misconduct. But “misconduct” is broadly defined. It can even include rude or snippy behavior that shows an employee doesn’t really care.

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New regulations implementing the FLSA are now in effect, and they mark a significant change in federal wage-and-hour rules—and how the DOL enforces them. The new regulations were created to make FLSA regulations consistent with changes driven by other applicable federal laws. Be mindful of these new regulations and the additional burdens they impose.

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In late June, days before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a massive class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination at Walmart, home elec­tronics retailer Best Buy opted to settle a bias-based class-action suit of its own. Nine employees will split $200,000. Their lawyers will get $10 mil­lion.

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Here’s something to remember when your attorneys are negotiating a settlement agreement in a pending lawsuit or other claim: As soon as you and the other party agree to an offer, a contract is formed and the terms are binding. That’s true even if the agreement hasn’t yet been signed.

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Minnesota employers may be finding fewer qualified applicants to fill their available job openings. The labor shortage isn’t because the state’s economy is suddenly booming again. It’s because employers in neighboring North Dakota are dipping into the Minnesota talent pool.

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Sen. Al Franken has introduced a bill aimed at undoing the Supreme Court’s recent decision in AT&T v. Concepcion, which barred class ­actions in arbitration cases. The Arbitration Fairness Act would prevent employers from requiring applicants and employees to agree to ­arbitration as a condition of employment.

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A lineman for Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy will collect $40 million from Qwest Telephone as a result of a 2004 accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

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Employers are now free under federal law to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. But Minnesota employers need to be aware of a crucial difference between federal and state laws.

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Employees who quit because of substantially reduced pay may be able to collect unemployment. However, they can’t merely speculate that a new pay system will result in lower pay.

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Employees sometimes think that employers have to accommodate all their schedule requests. Not usually. Often, employees fired for refusing to work their scheduled hours expect to receive unemployment benefits.

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Government entities that employ fire­fighters face thorny Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) problems. The law requires overtime pay for fire­fighters who work more than 204 hours in a 27-day period. But that can get complicated when a local agency assigns its firefighters to battle wildfires for the state.

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An employee who reports a serious safety hazard and stops coming to work after the employer refuses to fix the hazard may collect unemployment benefits. But that’s not true if the employee doesn’t give the employer a chance to remedy the problem and just quits out of fear.

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Ordinarily, when an employee receives a reprimand that doesn’t carry negative consequences, courts won’t consider the reprimand an “adverse employment decision.” As a practical matter, that means an employee can’t base a discrimination lawsuit on a simple reprimand. But that doesn’t mean an oral reprimand can’t be retaliation.

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Good news for government agencies: People who apply for government work don’t have a property interest in a potential job, even if they make the list of finalists, and others on the list don’t want the job. That’s true even if the hiring committee states it plans to hire someone from the list and then does not.

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The EEOC received a record 99,922 charges in the 2010 fiscal year—the most the agency has received in its 45-year history. Given this sharp increase in charge activity, now is a good time to review your personnel policies and practices to make sure you’re taking appropriate steps to help prevent potential dis­crimination claims.

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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.

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The Minnesota Department of Human Services has agreed to pay more than $467,000 to settle an age discrimination complaint filed by retired staffers.

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Employers can’t just ignore it if an employee asks for time off as a religious accommodation. The better approach is to schedule the employee for work and wait for him to request time off for religious observances. Then carefully consider the request, and document your efforts and conclusions.

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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.

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A former Wells Fargo loan officer in Maple Grove has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for his part in approving $4.3 million in fraudulent loans. The bank took a $1.5 million loss on the deal.

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