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Employment Law

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12 Fast Facts Employers Need to Know to Comply with Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA)

Minnesota has one of the most vigorous workplace drug-testing laws in the country.  Here are 12 fast facts you need to know if you require testing of employees or job applicants: You must have a written drug and alcohol testing policy; You must provide written notice of the policy to all affected employees when the policy is initially adopted and when any employee who was previously unaffected by the policy transfers to a position affected by the policy, and to job applicants upon hire and before any testing is required if the job offer is contingent upon testing; You must...
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Payment of Wages Following Termination of Employment

Under Minnesota law, you are entitled to prompt payment of wages after leaving employment. If you have been terminated from employment, you have the right to demand all wages or commissions actually earned and unpaid at the time of discharge. Once a demand is made, the employer has 24 hours to pay these wages or commissions. If you quit employment, your wages are generally due on your regularly scheduled payday. If your employer fails to make payment when due, you have the right to demand payment and the employer must comply within 24 hours after the demand. In either case,...
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Applying for Disability – Is It Right for Me?

A lot of folks frequently consider if they should go on disability or even get advised to do so by their doctors. This usually happens when their medical or psychological issues become so bad that they start interfering with or make it impossible to continue working in a meaningful and productive manner. When that happens, and there is no foreseeable improvement of the health issues, it is usually a good idea to try to apply for disability. But what does it mean to be disabled? According to the Social Security Act, disability is the “…inability to engage in any substantial...
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Can I Get Fired If I Claim Workers’ Compensation?

We often hear this question from folks with recent work-related injuries who have never been hurt before or never thought about reporting a work injury and never had to deal with workers’ compensation. Since each case is unique, there is no straight answer that could be given without knowing more details. Generally, however, the law provides that any employer who fires or is threatening to discharge an injured worker because he or she is seeking workers’ compensation benefits, can be held liable for up to three times the value of the work comp benefits awarded. In other words, although technically...
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Nationwide Injunction Stops Implementation of New Overtime Rule

Earlier this year the Department of Labor issued a rule that would automatically extend overtime pay eligibility to salaried workers earning less than $913 per week or $47,476 per year, regardless of the workers’ job duties.  The new rule regarding eligibility for overtime pay was to go into effect on December 1, 2016. On November 22, 2016, a United States District Court judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction prohibiting the new rule from going into effect.  The injunction applies nationwide. It is not known if the ruling will be appealed.  Even if it is appealed a decision on the...
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New Federal Overtime Rule is Fast Approaching

A new federal overtime rule goes into effect on December 1, 2016.  The rule raises the Fair Labor Standards Act salary threshold for those white-collar employees who are exempt from overtime from $455/week ($23,660) to $913/week ($47,476.00).  This means that an employee who makes less than $47,476.00 per year must be paid overtime. There are plenty of options to ensure compliance with this new rule.  For example, an employer can (1) raise the employee’s salary to the threshold to keep from paying overtime; (2) keep the employee’s salary the same but limit the employee’s hours to 40 hours per week;...
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Severance Agreement Review

Have you been presented with a severance agreement in conjunction with your termination from employment?  Also known as a termination agreement, a severance agreement can be a very detailed legal document setting forth a number of terms and conditions.  These terms and conditions can be confusing, complicated, and very restrictive.  For example, the severance agreement may include a non-compete agreement, prohibiting you from potential future job opportunities, or may include a release of any potential claims you have against the employer. If you have been presented with a severance agreement, it is critical to reach out to an attorney who...
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Minnesota Pregnancy Accommodation Law

Minnesota law requires employers with 21 or more employees at one or more sites to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee for health conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth unless the employer demonstrates that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business.  Any employee working for the employer at least 12 months and the equivalent of one-half of the employer’s full-time employment requirement is eligible for the accommodations.  Some accommodations are required if requested by the employee on the advice of the employee’s licensed health care provider or certified doula.  Some accommodations are automatic...
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Minnesota Adds “Familial Status” as a Protected Class

Employers in Minnesota need to revise their non-discrimination and equal opportunity policies to include familial status as a protected class.  Under Minnesota law, familial status is defined as “the condition or one or more minors being domiciled with (1) their parent or parents or the minor’s legal guardian or (2) the designee of the parent or parents or guardian with written permission of the parent or parents or guardian.”  This law applies to all employers with one or more employee. For more information about this topic or other Minnesota employment law issues, contact Will Partridge at Farrish Johnson Law Office....
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Wage Disclosure Protection Law –State and Federal Law Changes.

Every Minnesota employer must comply with the Wage Disclosure Protection law.  Under this law, no employer can prohibit employees from disclosing or discussing their own wages.  Employers that provide an employee handbook to their employees must include in the handbook a notice of employee rights and remedies under the Wage Disclosure Protection law. As of January 11, 2016, federal contractors are prohibited from terminating or otherwise discriminating against employees or job applicants in any manner for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing their own compensation or the pay of other employees or applicants. For sample language to include in your employee...
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