Any parent of young children in Minnesota can tell horror stories about how difficult it is to find childcare. The shortage of childcare here has reached crisis levels (see Minnesota's 'quiet crisis' in child care: 'There's not a silver bullet', St. Cloud Times, April 13, 2018; Child care shortage reaching 'crisis' levels, Business North, Aug. 9, 2018). Often, the crisis impacts the parents' availability to work, which in turn impacts their ability to support their families. Recently, the Minnesota Court of Appeals gave those parents some help by ruling in favor of a mother who quit her job because she lost childcare.
Please join us for the 14h Annual West Central Minnesota Employment Law Update at the Alexandria Technical and Community College on Wednesday, June 7, 2017!
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this week in Peterson v. City of Minneapolis that the one-year statute of limitations set by the Minnesota Human Rights Act ("MHRA") is suspended while the employer and employee voluntarily engage in an employer's internal dispute resolution process. As a result, employees will now in many cases have additional time to pursue claims under the MHRA.
Employers can be held liable for injuries suffered by employees who are assaulted by their co-workers, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reiterated in a recent case. The decision highlights the importance of reducing the risk of workplace violence by conducting background checks of potential employees and enforcing anti-violence policies with existing employees.
Though it's been done since the beginning of time, breastfeeding in public made waves this summer when our local paper asked for comments from its readers (see It's Your Turn: Facebook readers share thoughts on breastfeeding, Echo Press Sept. 4, 2015; A mom's dilemma, Echo Press Sept. 4, 2015).
A recently settled Minnesota Department of Human Rights charge against Jack Link's Beef Jerky emphasizes the importance of follow-through when responding to sexual harassment allegations.
By now, you've probably read or heard about Target Corporation's agreement to pay $2.8 million to settle an EEOC discrimination charge. Unlike a "disparate treatment" case where the plaintiffs claim that an employer's actions were motivated by discriminatory intent, this was a "disparate impact" case where the EEOC alleged that screening tests used by Target disproportionately excluded applicants on the basis of race and gender and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
For victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking, seeking help is sometimes the most difficult first step toward safety and justice. Adding to the struggle is the reality that taking that step sometimes means committing time during the workday to seek help. Consequently, the fear of missing work has often been an obstacle to reporting those crimes, participating in the legal process, or otherwise seeking or providing help.
A Fargo, ND hotelier with a property in Alexandria, MN will pay nearly $200,000.00 to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Department of Labor (see Court Orders Hotel Owner to Pay More than $180K in Back Wages, Damages to 200 Workers Across North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota, DOL Release No. 15-1294-DAK; Lawsuit Settlement Helps Hotel Workers in Alexandria, Echo Press July 16, 2015). The DOL alleged in the suit that Bharat I. Patel violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay minimum wage and/or overtime rates to nearly 200 employees at a number of hotels, including the Country Inn and Suites in Alexandria.