Sometimes, whether it is during a job interview, after a job offer or during the course of employment, an employer in Minnesota may request that an employee undergo a medical exam. However, there are a number of circumstances in which requesting a medical exam could constitute disability discrimination.
Many people in Minnesota, despite having a disability, are able to hold down a job to support themselves, with the right help. Unfortunately, many disabled workers still face discrimination in the workplace simply due to the fact that they are disabled.
When one is searching for a job, they polish their resume and fill out job applications. Hopefully all of these efforts lead to the next step: a job interview. While it is normal to be nervous and excited about an interview, one also hopes they will be treated fairly in comparison to other candidates for the job, and Minnesota law serves to support this expectation.
For many Minneapolis residents having a job is a necessary evil. One must work in order to earn one's paycheck, and a paycheck is often a necessity when it comes to paying one's rent, buying food and making sure one's utility bills are covered. Unless a person is independently wealthy, he may depend on his job in order to financially support himself and his family.
Jobs, though, are not always forever, and in some cases an employer may have a legitimate reason for having to let a worker go. Not every termination is unlawful, but there are an unfortunate number of cases that involve people getting fired from their jobs for prohibited reasons. For many who lose their jobs due to their employers' unlawful acts, discrimination is the basis of their wrongful terminations.
Working isn't always easy, especially when the environment is tense. Most people just want to do their jobs and stay out of trouble.
But what happens when something is seriously wrong? What if your employer is breaking the law, and hurting people in the process? Should you say something?
This Minneapolis employment law blog has previously discussed the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA. A person who suffers from a physical or mental disability may request that his employer provide him with a reasonable accommodation so that he may do the work he is hired to do, and the right to make this form of request is secured under the tenants of the ADA. However, understanding what is considered reasonable with regard to the ADA's requirements is not always clear, and this blog post will touch on some of the issues that can obfuscate one's understanding of reasonableness when it comes to making workplace accommodations for disabilities.
First, it is important for readers to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all accommodation for disabled workers. While one worker may require physical changes to her office furniture to enable her to work at her computer, another worker may require a modification to her work schedule to accommodate the demands of her disability. Accommodations can take on many forms and are generally dictated by the needs of each disabled employee.
Say you saw your employer do something illegal, such as engaging in illegal workplace discrimination, either against yourself or against a fellow coworker. Would you speak up? Would you report the wrongdoing to the proper authorities? While employees have the right to do just these things without fear of retaliation, it is an unfortunate fact that in 2006 alone, over 10,000 discrimination retaliation claims were reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retaliation, even though it is illegal, does take place in Minnesota workplaces far too often.
Some in Minnesota may like to think that in this age of equality, workplace harassment has become a thing of the past. However, as a recent report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reveals, the struggle to end harassment in the workplace continues, particularly when it comes to harassment based on gender identity or sexual orientation. This is despite the EEOC's attempts to prohibit such discrimination based on existing law that makes discrimination against a worker based on sex illegal.
According to the report, during the last fiscal year, as many as 33 percent of the 90,000 discrimination charges the agency received included claims of harassment in the workplace, such as sexual harassment, racial harassment and harassment based on ethnicity. In fact, according to the report, as many as 60 percent of workers were subject to workplace harassment based on their race or ethnicity.
Craft brewing has certainly seen a resurgence in Minnesota and across the nation, with some companies seeing significant growth and success in their chosen niche. However, just like any other company, workers at these companies could still experience workplace discrimination that in some cases could lead to their dismissal.
For example, Third Street Brewhouse's former head brewmaster has filed a lawsuit against the parent company of the brewery, Cold Spring Brewing Company, alleging age discrimination and race discrimination. The plaintiff, age 63, alleges he was let go from his job on the recommendation of a consultant who, according to the plaintiff, made comments showing a bias against workers above a certain age and minorities. The plaintiff claims that after he and another worker were let go, their positions were filled by two Caucasian men who were in their 30s.
When it comes to hiring an individual, it seems like such decisions should be made based on the individual's qualifications. However, discrimination in the hiring process and after an individual is hired still occurs in Minnesota and across the nation. While many steps have been taken to address discrimination in the workplace due to a person's sexual orientation, a recent survey revealed that many transgendered individuals still suffer from employment discrimination.