Older workers in Minnesota are a valuable asset to their employers, as they can provide their wisdom and years of experience to others in the workplace. Unfortunately, some employers do not have this attitude about older workers. Perhaps they want to cut costs, and younger workers may not be paid as much as those with more seniority. Or they may have prejudices against older workers, viewing them in an unfavorable light. However, the U.S. Government recognizes that age discrimination in the workplace should not be tolerated, and has enacted laws against it.
Whether it is caring for a newborn child, a stay in the hospital for a serious illness or taking care of a seriously ill loved one, there may be times that an employee in Minnesota has to take an extended medical leave from work. It is fortunate, then, that there is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This federal law mandates that employers give workers who have been employed by them for over one year, up to 12 weeks of leave for their own medical needs or the medical needs of a family member. This leave is unpaid.
2017 is almost here, and people across Minnesota are making their New Year's resolutions. One popular New Year's resolution is to get into shape. For many this means signing up for a gym membership. However, a federal investigation has found that one major chain of gyms with locations in Minnesota and 25 other states has committed minimum wage law violations.
Our nation is built on the backs of hard-working individuals, who show up and do the jobs that others may be unwilling to do. However, even though some occupations, by their nature, expose workers to a certain amount of danger, if an unsafe working condition causes an employee to be put into imminent danger, that employee has rights.
When it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, many women keep quiet about serious issues rather than risk being viewed as whiner or complainer to colleagues or management. Or perhaps they just aren't sure it counts as sexual harassment so they don't want to speak up because they are afraid they are just being paranoid.
Religion plays an important role in the lives of many people in Minneapolis. For some of those who practice a religion, it is important to them that they obey their religious tenets throughout their daily lives, including while at work. One might like to think that religious discrimination in the workplace is a thing of the past, but unfortunately, it is still sometimes a reality that must be faced. For example, many Muslim women fear wearing a hijab, or head scarf, at work, for fear of discrimination, harassment or worse. Some have even given up on wearing religious garb altogether, while others fear for loved ones who do choose to wear a hijab while at work.
The approximately 32,000 Minnesota state government workers are fortunate to be the recipients of a new benefit that recently went into effect: paid leave for six weeks after their child is adopted or born. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton stated that this benefit will help them attract and keep good employees. Previously, workers in such situations were only eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave, although birth mothers could be eligible for short-term disability pay.
Our last post discussed how Minnesota statutes protect workers against retaliation if they blow the whistle and report their employer's illegal activities. Unfortunately, sometimes employers break these laws and retaliate against whistleblowers. They may discriminate against the whistleblower, for example, by unlawfully denying them a promotion or by demoting them. They may unjustly punish the whistleblower or could even outright fire the whistleblower. Although these acts are illegal, they still occur far too often.