Minnesota Labor & Employment Law Blog

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The USA Today Network conducted an investigation into how U.S. law enforcement officers with records of serious misconduct continue to work, some of whom have been hired as police chiefs and sheriffs thorough out the country. USA Today reporters spent a year analyzing disciplinary records from hundreds of law enforcement agencies and state licensing boards, gathering information on police wrongdoing. They have created a database of more than 30,000 law enforcement officers who have had…
The Los Angeles City Council is currently considering an ordinance titled the “Fair Workweek” which would affect large employers in Los Angeles, including Target, Home Depot and Goodwill to name a few.  Under the Los Angeles ordinance, employers would have to give workers two weeks’ advance notice of their work schedule, and employees would have the right to request a schedule change or decline hours without retaliation.  Additionally, employers would have to allow employees a…
I recently read an article in the Star Tribune about a new executive training program that uses seeing eye dogs to help managers improve teamwork and communication skills, builds trust, and problem solves at work.  The company Leader Dogs for the Blind, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan started its executive training program five years ago.  It has worked with Purina and Mitsubishi Motors. The training involves the manager putting on a blindfold and then…
Effective January 1, 2019, the Minnesota Legislature has added a work-related injury presumption to the workers’ compensation statute for certain types of public employees who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   The positions for which the PTSD presumption applies include: licensed police officer/deputy/Minnesota State Patrol, firefighter, paramedic, emergency medical technician, public safety dispatcher, corrections officer, and a licensed nurse who provides emergency medical services outside of a medical facility.  For the presumption to…
In case, you aren’t aware, the Minnesota minimum wage was adjusted for inflation effective January 1, 2018.  The new large employer minimum wage is $9.65/hour, an increase of $0.15.  Small employer minimum wage went up $0.12 to $7.87/hour.  $7.87/hour is also the new 90-day training wage for employees under age 20 and youth wage for employees under the age of 18.  A “large employer” is defined as any enterprise with an annual gross revenue of…
The Department of Labor (DOL) has been very aggressive in auditing employers over the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, instead of employees.  Properly classifying workers is important for employers to avoid hefty fines, additional taxes, interest, and additional wage and overtime obligations. The old test focused on the employer’s control over the worker.  Since 2015, the DOL has applied an “economic realities test,” to determine whether the worker is economically dependent on the
The trend is shifting back to employees wanting their own workspace.  This is a shift away from more open work areas with shared desks, community areas, and collaborative workspaces.  Research has shown workers now want their own personal workspace to allow for personal boundaries. In my career I have worked in many types of office workspaces from a cubicle with high walls and some semblance of privacy, to an open workspace area where everyone could…
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about a new workplace benefit – student loan debt relief.  Now, it seems employers are again thinking outside the box with respect to employee benefits.  The latest workplace benefits employers are offering include onsite meditation, yoga and other programs that help workers de-stress.  Other unique benefits are cooking classes, standing desks, bringing a pet to work, and free snacks or meals.  All these benefits are in addition…
Last month, Arbitrator Stephen Befort denied the grievance of a Faribault County deputy who claimed the County did not have just cause to terminate his employment.  Deputy Dulac was terminated by the Faribault County Sheriff’s office for misconduct surrounding two different issues.  The first issue involved his off-duty conduct at a bar where he failed to secure evidence of criminal behavior.  The second issue involved him repeatedly pointing his loaded service weapon at other…
  The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed two unemployment law judges’ decisions to deny unemployment compensation to individuals terminated for clear policy violations. In Nolan v. Great River Federal Credit Union, Ms. Nolan was terminated for violating the credit union’s policies which prohibit employees from performing transactions concerning family members’ accounts.  Ms. Nolan testified at the unemployment hearing, her mother called her at work and asked about transferring money from her account.  Ms.…