Religious freedom has recently been claimed to justify acts of discrimination in both the public and private spheres—from refusing service to legislative acts in the name of religion that deny the rights of individuals. Unfortunately, unfounded fears, stereotypes, and prejudices have led to harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC has recognized the underlying tensions and the very real impact in the workplace and has issued a fact sheet to help employees understand their rights and prevent religious discrimination.
A growing number of employers have been using employee wellness programs to track the fitness and health of employees while offering certain perks and benefits. At first glance, these employee wellness programs may seem like a positive way to motivate employees and promote healthy living. However well-intentioned, such wellness programs have also shown to discriminate and cost some employees certain benefits resulting in violations of federal privacy and anti-discrimination laws.
Without paid sick time, employees are more likely to force themselves into the workplace even when they should be at home in bed. In other instances, workers must choose between caring for a loved one or going to work. Currently, four out of 10 workers in the city of Minneapolis do not have access to paid sick time. A landmark ordinance was approved recently giving paid sick and safe time for the majority of workers within the Minneapolis city limits.
Flowers Foods, Inc. will face a compliance review by the U.S. Department of Labor concerning the company’s employment practices, including its classification of bakery products distributors as independent contractors. The Labor Department’s review follows a wave of class action lawsuits brought by distributors against Flowers Foods under the Fair Labor Standards Act for misclassifying them as independent contractors rather than employees.
Former “Fox & Friends” co-host, Gretchen Carlson, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes alleging Ailes fired her in retaliation for rejecting his sexual advances and reporting sexual harassment by her former co-host, Steve Doocy.
Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, publicly traded companies cannot discharge an employee in retaliation for reporting misconduct that violates federal securities laws. The Eighth Circuit recently joined three other courts of appeal and adopted the definition of “reasonable belief,” holding that “the employee must simply prove that a reasonable person in the same factual circumstances with the same training and experience would believe that the employer violated securities laws,” whether or not the employee is factually correct. Beacom v. Oracle America, Inc., No. 15-1729 (June 6, 2016).
An increasing number of businesses are using arbitration clauses in their employment contracts to resolve disputes. What is an arbitration clause? How does it affect your rights? What are the implications of an arbitration clause if you have a dispute with your employer?
With North Carolina’s controversial new law restricting public restroom use to the gender listed on a person’s birth certificate and the mounting national debate, you may be wondering where we stand in Minnesota on transgendered bathroom rights. While federal laws have made some progress in protecting transgendered persons, some Minnesota rulings have been more restrictive and problematic, especially in the employment setting.
Undocumented immigrant workers are often forced into illegal working conditions in violation of state and federal law. Many of these workers are afraid to come forward in fear of losing their jobs or getting deported. In a recent case reversal, the Court of Appeals is reiterating to lower courts that undocumented workers do have rights and they are protected against workplace violations under Minnesota law.
A recent decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals gives employees additional rights and protections when taking time off from work. According to the court, if a person takes time off from work to address her family’s homelessness, she hasn’t quit her job. The decision could benefit employees who request time off who are terminated and denied unemployment benefits.