Minnesota News & Analysis

  • Minnesota Court of Appeals upholds Minneapolis sick-leave ordinance

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals has determined the city of Minneapolis may enforce its sick-and-safe-leave ordinance against employers located outside Minneapolis that have employees working within the city. As a result, all employers—regardless of where they are located—must permit employees to accrue sick-and-safe time (SST) if they perform at least 80 hours of work annually in Minneapolis.

  • Judge says St. Paul teacher has triable discrimination, whistleblower claims

    In a 72-page decision, a federal district court in Minnesota ruled that former St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) teacher Aaron Benner can proceed to trial on his race discrimination and Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA) claims.

  • Discrimination complaints can be protected activity, but not all complaints are protected

    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Minnesota employers) recently held that even if a meeting during which the CEO raised an "exit strategy" for an employee constituted an adverse action, the employee failed to show the action was retaliatory. Further, the company's decision to arrange an exit strategy wasn't motivated by her protected status.

  • Supreme Court will decide whether LGBT discrimination is unlawful

    DOL launches effort to reduce improper UI payments. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a series of initiatives aimed at reducing improper payments in the unemployment insurance (UI) program. Part of the effort involves providing states the resources to recognize and combat improper UI payments. The DOL has also released a redesigned integrity webpage, "UI Payment Accuracy by State," which displays each state's improper payment rate. The webpage, found at www.dol.gov/general/maps, contains information on the root causes of each state's improper UI payments and provides links for reporting fraud. In addition, the DOL has created two new state recognition awards—one to recognize states that have demonstrated excellence in minimizing improper UI payment rates and the other to recognize states that have significantly reduced their improper payment rates.

  • MHRA doesn't require interactive process for disabled employees

    The Minnesota Supreme Court recently ruled that the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) doesn't require an employer to engage in the interactive process with an employee who seeks a reasonable accommodation for a disability.

  • Court affirms $250K in punitive damages despite jury awarding only $1 in actual damages

    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Minnesota employers) recently upheld a $250,000 punitive damages award against an employer that didn't have an antidiscrimination policy and ignored several complaints about racial harassment.

  • Employer's alleged grudge against former employee doesn't establish FLSA retaliation claim

    The 8th Circuit recently decided that a worker's claim he was terminated because his employer had a "grudge" against him failed to satisfy the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) standard for establishing a retaliation claim.

  • DOL says FMLA leave mandatory for employees and employers

    After more than 25 years, you might think questions regarding proper interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) would be settled. It's a highly regulated law, and it provides employers far more detail and clarity than they get with most other labor and employment laws.

  • Tips to ensure you are prepared for a deposition

    For an HR professional, giving a deposition is a lot like visiting the dentist. You know it's necessary, but you probably aren't looking forward to it. You may be asked questions you don't want to answer (like how often you actually floss). And finally, consistently responsible practices should reduce your stress levels about the event, make it go a lot smoother, and prevent worse problems in the future.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB chair claims joint-employment comment review not outsourced. Responding to concerns from congressional Democrats, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair John F. Ring says his agency is not outsourcing the review of public comments on the joint-employer standard. In March, Ring wrote a letter to Bobby Scott, chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Frederica S. Wilson, chair of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor & Pensions, saying the Board has not outsourced the substantive review of comments on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on what constitutes joint employment. Instead, he said the NLRB decided "to engage temporary support on a limited, short-term basis to perform the initial sorting and coding of the public comments." He said the process ensures confidentiality protections are in place, and the Board's professionals will perform the first substantive review of the comments.