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Federal and Minnesota Laws Prohibiting Discrimination

Under Title VII of the U. S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that employers are prohibited from refusing to hire, discharge, or to treat employees differently because of their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII applies to employers “who have fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day and each

Ban the Box Law

Minnesota’s Ban the Box Law: How Does it Effect the Employee Application Process? In 2014, Governor Dayton signed into law Minnesota Statutes § 364.01-364.10, collectively called the Ban the Box Legislation. The Ban the Box legislation expands to private employers the prohibition of requiring a potential employee to admit on a job application whether or

Pregnancy Discrimination Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act

In Dahl v. Regents of University of Minnesota, No. A12-1076, WL 1187996 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 6, 2013), the former CFO, Peg Dahl, of the University of Minnesota Press (“U Press”) took the position in February 2008. In March 2008 Dahl notified U Press that she was pregnant. About a week prior to going on

Workplace Defamation

In this new economy plagued with high unemployment and fiscal uncertainty it has become increasingly more frequent for ex-employees to bring workplace defamation claims against their former employer alleging that statements made in connection with that employee’s dismissal were defamatory. While a majority of these types of cases are hard to pursue, there have been

Right to a Jury Trial Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act

The Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) was recently amended to provide a right to a jury trial for claims arising under that law. The MHRA, which prohibits a wide range of conduct in the housing, public accommodation, and education sectors, is most commonly known for prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed,

Jury Trials Now Allowed Under Minnesota Human Rights Act

Governor Dayton recently signed into law an amendment to Minnesota Statute 363A.33 which now states that a person who brings a claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) seeking redress for an unfair discriminatory practice is entitled to a jury trial. In the past, a judge could hear a MHRA case solely on his

FAQ: Pregnancy, Nursing, Parenting, Sick Leave Under MNWESA

The Women’s Economic Security Act, which was signed into law on May 11, 2014, includes a number of new required health, pregnancy, and sick leave accommodations and benefits from employers. Here are some FAQs on these newly expanded requirements. An employer must grant an unpaid leave of absence of 12 weeks (the previous requirement was

Equal Pay Certificate FAQ

Governor Dayton recently approved a package of bills titled the Women’s Economic Security Act to enhance conditions for women in the workplace. A portion of the new law requires businesses in certain situations to apply for and provide an “equal pay certificate.” Below are anticipated frequently asked questions to help guide businesses as they are

Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act

On Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act, providing a variety of new protections and remedies for employees and new requirements for Minnesota employers. Some of the key changes made by the Act are described below. You can access the full text of the Act

Employment Discrimination in Minnesota

This is a summary of employment discrimination laws in Minnesota and how employers can protect themselves. In Minnesota, employees are protected from discrimination by both federal and state law. A discrimination claim requires that the employer has taken some adverse employment action against the employee because the employee belongs to a protected class. Even employees

Same-Sex Marriage & Small Business: What Minnesota Companies Need to Know About the New Marriage Laws

In 2013, Minnesota became one of thirteen U.S. states that legally recognize same-sex marriage. (See footnote 1.) If you are a business owner and have employees who are married to someone of the same-sex there are several critical changes in the law you must note as an employer. All business employers must now assess their

Does being fired because of your salary constitute age discrimination?

Does being fired because of your salary constitute age discrimination? thumbnail

It depends but ordinarily not. The United States Supreme Court has held that an employer does not violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621-634, by acting on the basis of a factor, such as an employees’ pension status, seniority or salary, that is empirically correlated with age.[1] Firing an employee because

Can a Company Split into Separate Entities to Evade the ADA?

Disabled Employee

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) was enacted in 1990 and amended in 2008 by the ADA Amendments Act. The purpose of the act is to remedy discrimination against persons suffering in the workplace because of a disability. (See footnote 1.) In order for an employee to be entitled to the protections of the ADA,

Accessibility-Americans With Disabilities Act and the Internet

Accessibility-Americans With Disabilities Act and the Internet thumbnail

In one of the first court decisions to consider the applicability of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) to websites, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit contending that a Southwest Airlines website violated the ADA because it was not accessible by blind users

Employment Discrimination in MN: How to File a Claim

The MHRA applies to all employers of one or more employees. Under the Act, no employer, labor organization, or employment agency can unfairly deny employment, membership, or referral for employment. Under the Act, anyone who aids or abets a violation, obstructs compliance, or retaliates against a person seeking enforcement, is in violation of the Act.

Pregnancy Discrimination F.A.Q. – Minnesota Employment Discrimination

Pregnancy itself can be an exciting, stressful, overwhelming experience. It also creates added stress for working women who have to decide how to tell their employer they are expecting and coordinate maternity leave. What happens when your employer is less than accommodating to your exciting news? Federal law provides that an employer cannot discriminate against

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act & Minnesota Employment Law

Federal law provides that an employer cannot discriminate against female employees because they are pregnant. The law treats pregnancy as a medical condition: employers have to treat pregnant women the same way they treat employees with other medical conditions with similar employment effects. Unfortunately pregnancy discrimination claims are on the rise according to the Equal

Waiver of Rights Under the Age Discrimination Laws

Age Discrimination by Xavi Talleda Employers who are terminating the employment of older employees often enter into settlement agreements with these employees in which the employer provides benefits to the employee in return for the employee’s release of his or her claims against the employer. The release usually focuses on waiving rights that the employee

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction as Protected Disabilities

An individual with alcoholism or a drug addiction is protected under the Minnesota Human Rights Act as a “qualified disabled person” if he or she can, with reasonable accommodation, perform the essential functions of the job in question and does not constitute a direct threat to property or to the safety of others (see footnote