The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in many aspects of life, but some of the most important provisions of the ADA deal with employment. Under the ADA, employers generally cannot legally discriminate against disabled people while hiring, firing, training, promoting or paying employees.
A number of federal and Minnesota laws are designed to protect workers from discrimination at the workplace. Employment discrimination based on someone's race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or religion is generally against Minnesota law. Workers who have been discriminated against can rely on the law to remedy the problem. Unfortunately, however, the system doesn't always make it as easy as it should be.
A federal lawsuit filed by a former Minnesota State Senate aide alleging wrongful termination due to gender discrimination has been narrowed by a federal judge. The state requested the dismissal of three counts, included allegations of defamation, and this request was accepted by the judge. The former aide's lawsuit alleging one violation of federal law and one violation of state law remain.
A teacher who has taught in the South Washington County School District for more than 30 years is filing a lawsuit after what he claims is wrongful termination. The teacher missed a significant amount of work while recovering from a surgery and subsequent medical condition and was fired. The teacher, who also served as a coach and assistant principal in the district over the years, is now suing for employment discrimination.
A former employee of the publishing company Penguin Group has filed a legal complaint against the publisher for wrongful discharge due to age discrimination. The complaint should remind Minnesotans that age discrimination is a real concern and that it may be prevalent in even in the most well-known and well-respected companies. It should also inject employees with the courage to speak out against such discrimination.
A boat manufacturing company will pay out a settlement of $295,000 for discriminating against female job applicants who were rejected from job openings at its plant in northwestern Minnesota. The employment discrimination suit filed in 2011 claimed that the company rejected these women who applied for entry-level jobs with the manufacturer. Although the company denied the allegations, its parent company has agreed to pay back wages and interest to the original applicants.
An Army veteran, who served two tours in Iraq, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Rochester and the Rochester Police Civil Service Commission alleging disability discrimination. The suit states that the police department violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act when he was fired because of his impaired hearing and speech.
A recent lawsuit against Mayo Clinic ended with a settlement of $1.26 million on August 2, 2012. The whistleblower lawsuit focused on false claims for billings to Medicare and Medicaid programs from the clinic's Rochester, Minnesota pathology laboratories. The complaint alleged that Mayo billed the government for a frozen tissue slide for quick analysis and a permanent tissue slide, but that the permanent slides were never made or examined.
A former Minnesota Senate aide has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit claiming he was fired for an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. However, he states he was treated differently than female employees, because women who have affairs with state legislators are not fired. The aide believes this was a wrongful termination and that he should have been offered a job transfer instead of being fired.