Minnesota News & Analysis

  • Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance not preempted by state law

    A divided Minnesota Court of Appeals panel recently ruled that a minimum wage ordinance enacted by the city of Minneapolis is not preempted by the statewide Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act's (MFLSA) minimum wage provision, opening the door for a city-by-city patchwork regulation of minimum wage.

  • Reasonable accommodation claims may avoid Workers' Comp Act exclusivity provision

    A divided Minnesota Supreme Court recently decided the exclusivity provision of the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Act does not bar claims for disability discrimination filed under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), overturning precedent established nearly 30 years ago.

  • Minnesota Supreme Court limits public policy exception for vacating arbitration award

    The Minnesota Supreme Court recently reaffirmed arbitrators' authority and severely restricted the ability of parties to vacate (toss out) arbitration awards on public policy grounds.

  • Know the legal issues you face when employees work past 65

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 are still employed. That number has been steadily rising, and it's expected to reach 36 percent over the next five years.

  • Walmart greeter fiasco provides important employment lessons

    Have you ever walked into a Walmart and been greeted by an employee—frequently disabled or elderly—who seemed to have no responsibilities other than to welcome customers to the store? Did you ever wonder what the point of the position was or why a corporation the size of Walmart would pay so many people to do it?

  • Agency Action

    DOL announces new compliance assistance tool. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in February announced the launch of an enhanced electronic version of the Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new online version of Wage and Hour Division (WHD) publications aims to assist employers and workers with a resource that provides basic WHD information as well as links to other resources. The WHD established the electronic guide as part of its efforts to modernize compliance assistance materials and provide accessible information to guide compliance. The tool offers a new design—reformatted for laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices—and provides additional resources and related information, including plain-language videos.

  • Union Activity

    Teamsters challenge effort to preempt California meal, rest break requirements. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters in February challenged the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's decision to preempt California's meal and rest break rules. The International union, Teamsters Local 848, and individual truck drivers filed a petition for review with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOT's decision would preempt California law that provides truck drivers with a 10-minute rest break after four hours of driving and a 30-minute meal break after five hours. "We are standing united in opposition to this decision," Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. "Highway safety for Teamster members and the public must never be put at risk just so that transportation corporations can eke out a little more profit." A preemption of California's law could affect members of Teamsters Local 848, which represents about 7,200 workers in Southern California, many of whom are commercial truck drivers.

  • Employment agreements executed simultaneously form a single contract

    The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Minnesota employers) recently reaffirmed that under Minnesota law, separate employment agreements executed together for the same purpose will be construed as one entire employment contract.

  • 'Severe or pervasive' still the law of the land for MHRA sexual harassment claims

    The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently declined to abandon the severe or pervasive test for sexual harassment claims arising under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA).

  • Working remotely may not be a reasonable accommodation, even with a flesh-eating disease

    The 8th Circuit recently addressed and clarified what an employer is and is not required to do with respect to accommodating an employee on an extended, unpaid, non-Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) medical leave.