Employment Law

Minnesota Worker Rights: “Independent Contractor” or Employee?

Every year, employees bring thousands of cases alleging misclassification under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the FLSA, contractors and employees are given different legal status. Employers who misclassify workers as “Independent Contractors” rather than employees can evade certain responsibilities, including benefits, workers compensation, and other compliance issues. Workers as well as business owners must be aware of the legal differences so that employees are properly classified and compensated.

Minnesota's New Minimum Wage Signed Into Law

Minimum wage workers statewide can expect an hourly raise since Governor Mark Dayton signed the new minimum wage law this week. This takes Minnesota from one of the lowest minimum wage rates to one of the highest—guaranteeing workers $9.50 per hour by 2016. The new law could increase the wages of 325,000 workers throughout Minnesota.

Overtime Claims Persist for Minnesota Employees

Unpaid overtime remains a problem for many Minnesota employees. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires many employers to pay overtime wages to employees for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work week. Minnesota law requires employers to pay overtime wages to employees in excess of 48 hours per workweek. Overtime wages are mandatory and any agreement or policy to not pay overtime is invalid. Even if an employer doesn’t “approve” overtime, it must pay an employee overtime wages if the employee actually worked more than 40 hours in a work week.

Legislation to Protect Minnesota Women and Caregivers

“Caregiver discrimination” is a developing area in employment law and concerns legal protections for employees with family responsibilities. There is a growing need to protect the number of workers who are discriminated against for caregiving. This area of law is increasingly important, as caregiving discrimination cases are on the rise in Minnesota and nationwide.

Tip Sharing, Pooling and Credits: Employee Rights in Minnesota

Service employees, including wait staff, bartenders and other staff are often at the whims of their employers when it comes to tipping policies. In a competitive job market, many employees may not fully understand their rights or be afraid to stand up to employers when they are forced to turn over tips.

Background Checks: Is Your Employer in Compliance?

Whether you are applying for a new position or are under review as an existing employee, you may wonder about how your credit history or background check may impact your employment. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must follow a very specific protocol to ensure compliance and to protect your rights as a part of the job application background check process.

Workplace Social Media and Electronic Privacy Rights

Employers provide a number of reasons for monitoring the online activities of their employees. Some argue that they are protecting trade secrets, minimizing liabilities, and ensuring compliance with company regulations. Regardless of why an employer chooses to monitor online activities or access personal accounts, employees do have rights.

Unpaid Interns Bring Successful Class Actions

Hired interns do have legal rights and have been successful in bringing wage claims as well as other employment claims. Current employer-intern relationships must follow the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA).

NLRB Legal Action Against Walmart

Nationwide, employee supporters, unions and activists are fighting to stop Walmart from violating labor laws through intimidation, threats, and abuse. The NLRB’s actions should encourage more employees to speak out to improve pay and working conditions.

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