Employment Law

Sexual Harassment Suit Filed Against Fox News CEO

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.

Eighth Circuit Ruling Favors Whistleblowers in Reporting Securities Violations

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).

Should I Sign an Employment Contract with an Arbitration Clause?

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?

Transgender Bathroom Rights: Where Do We Stand in Minnesota?

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.

Court of Appeals Holds Undocumented Workers Have Employment Rights

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.

Minnesota Court of Appeals: Employees Can't Unintentionally Quit

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.

Labor Department Issues Expanded Overtime Pay Rules

The United States Department of Labor finalized the overtime rule that will expand overtime wages to more workers by raising the overtime salary threshold. This means that nearly all workers earning less than $47,476 will be entitled to time-and-a-half pay when they work more than 40 hours per week. The rule will significantly impact the salaries of workers, guaranteeing overtime pay for salaried workers earning less. Previously, the threshold was set at only $23,660.

Supreme Court Broadens Employee Rights in First Amendment Retaliation Case

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision paves the way for future claims against employers who retaliate against employees it believes are engaging in protected speech, even when the employee did not actually engage in the protected behavior. The case highlights the importance of employer intent and could have broader implications for other types of employment retaliation claims.  

OSHA Issues Workplace Injury Reporting Rule and Anti-Retaliation Provision

In an effort to improve workplace safety and protect employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule concerning the reporting of injury and illness in the workplace. Under the new rule, employers are now required to submit work-related injury and illness information to OSHA electronically, as well as inform employees of their right to report work-related injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation. The new rule not only protects employees who report injury or illness, but it clarifies their right to access workplace injury data.

Pregnancy, Parental Leave and Retaliation

While discovering you are pregnant can be a time of joy, it can also be a significant source of stress if you are worried about retaliation in the workplace. Retaliation could be as subtle as excluding you from meetings or important decisions or worse, demotion, decreased pay, or even termination. Pregnant women, new mothers, as well as fathers, have significant protections under Minnesota state and federal laws. In the event of discrimination or retaliation for a pregnancy or parental leave, you do have rights and can take legal action against your employer.

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