Employment Law

SCOTUS Takes Up Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Recently the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new guidelines to protect women against pregnancy discrimination (discussed here). Indeed, the EEOC reports that pregnancy discrimination cases are on the rise. The Supreme Court has now intervened and will be hearing a case involving a United Parcel Service (“UPS”) worker who was told to take unpaid leave after she requested a break from heavy lifting because of her pregnancy.

Employment Law Changes for 2015

Over the course of the past year there have been important shifts in federal and state law regarding employment. For both employers and employees, these changes can have a significant impact on workplace policies, employee rights and empolyer liability. Here is a summary of some employment law developments and trends for 2015:

Sexual Harassment of Tipped Employees

Throughout Minnesota, servers, bartenders, and other tip-reliant workers continue to endure sexual harassment and advances for the sake of their income. According to a new report titled, “The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry,” a study found restaurant workers reporting high levels of harassing behaviors from restaurant management (66%), co-workers (80%), and customers (78%).

FedEx “Independent Contractor” Misclassification

Classifying employees as independent contractors rather than employees can give employers a significant advantage. In addition to avoiding certain responsibilities, such as workers’ compensation, health insurance, and providing other employee benefits, employers can also escape other legal liabilities.

Age Discrimination in the Tech Industry

Scroll through postings for tech jobs and you will see desired traits such as “recent college graduate” or “new graduates.” While at first glance, these employers are simply targeting entry level employees, the unfortunate reality is a discriminatory practice common in the tech industry. After recent determinations by the EEOC that such postings are unlawful, the industry-wide problem of age discrimination is no longer being ignored.

EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

Every pregnancy discrimination case is unique and should be reviewed by an experienced employment lawyer. If you believe you have suffered from pregnancy discrimination, our attorneys want to hear from you.

Medical Marijuana and Employee Drug Testing

What are employee rights to medical marijuana use and what does the new law mean for compliance under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA)?

Is Flirting Sexual Harassment?

Victims of sexual harassment usually don’t need to be told when the line was crossed. Flirting is not unusual in the workplace but can become harassing behavior when it develops into behavior that is unwelcome, has a negative impact on an employee’s performance or creates a hostile work environment.  When workplace banter shifts to sexual harassment, victims may feel bullied, abused and pressured by fellow employees or a supervisor.

Wanta Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer

Employment law attorney Shawn Wanta was quoted in a June 19, 2014 Minnesota Lawyer article, “Wage and hour battles on the rise.” The article discusses the rise in the number wage and hour claims being brought forward under state laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act over the past decade. These claims deal with the alleged theft of employee wages through forcing employees to work off the clock, shaving time off of time cards, not paying overtime, and denying mandated breaks.

MHRA Amended with Right to Jury Trial

Governor Dayton signed an amendment to the Minnesota Human Rights Act, ensuring that victims of discrimination or retaliation are entitled to a jury by their peers. The bill provides that victims of discrimination in employment, housing, education or other areas, will have the right to a jury trial in cases brought in state court.

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