It is reasonable for Minnesota residents to want to have a good relationship with their employers. Such a state of affairs can make it easier to get through the work day and enjoy your occupation. However, there can be no doubt that there are some employers who take advantage of their employees, particularly when those employees are not aware of their legal rights.
Many previous posts here have delved into some fairly specific employment rights that employees in Minnesota and throughout the country enjoy, including the right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. But, it can be helpful to look at employee rights in basic terms, and include some of the other rights that employees enjoy. So, what are some of the basic employee rights?
Many people take for granted that when they leave a job they will receive their final wages in the right amount, and on time. However, not all employers follow the law in respect to paying. When employers violate these laws, employee rights are at stake.
Most employees in Minnesota go to work every day just to do their jobs - do them well - and then go home to their families. They don't usually think about the many different laws that are in place to protect employees and their rights. Previous posts here have mentioned many of these laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the laws that protect employees from various forms of discrimination. But, there is one law that many people aren't familiar with: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, commonly known as "ERISA."
When most people in the Minneapolis area think of employee rights, they probably think of legal cases involving claims of sexual harassment or discrimination. This is understandable. Cases across the nation that involve these types of allegations can be high-profile, putting employers on the spot to explain the illegal discrimination that is occurring in the workplace. But, employees have many other rights as well. And they should know what they are.
Employee rights have come a long way in the United States. Most employees are protected from a wide range of discriminatory conduct, are allowed time off when health emergencies strike and receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a week. The laws that are in place to ensure that workers in Minnesota receive these employee rights have been implemented over the course of decades.
Most of our readers know that there are laws in place to protect employees in America. One of the most important laws is the Fair Labor Standards Act, or "FLSA." So, what is the Fair Labor Standards Act and what does it have to do with employee rights in Minnesota?
Employees in Minneapolis rarely see something illegal or untoward happening on the job, but these situations can happen. You might have seen your co-workers regularly dumping sewage in a local river. Or, perhaps your industrial company has made it a policy to violate the Clean Air Act.
While the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are set to have new paid sick leave mandates in 2017, there are those in opposition to the mandates. A House bill that would keep cities from being able to institute city-wide benefit and wage mandates that are greater than those provided by state law was the subject of a hearing before the house job growth committee recently. The bill would block local governments from promulgating regulations with regards to minimum benefits, employee scheduling, mandatory paid leave and minimum wages. The bill passed the committee by a vote of 13 to 9. The vote was split along political party lines; the majority members of this particular committee are Republicans.
Some Minnesota workers, for one reason or another, are compelled to quit their jobs. In general, workers who quit their job are not eligible to receive unemployment compensation. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.