Halunen Law Blog

Category: EMPLOYMENT

If I Can Work From Home, Can My Employer Force Me to Return to Work Under the Governor’s Executive Order?

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, yet Minnesota businesses are slowing reopening around the state, and employees are being asked to return to their offices. This has created growing tensions, as employers want to ensure their businesses remain viable, while employees still fear the disease. Many employees are left in an uncomfortable predicament—caught between …

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Do I have to pool my tips?

In Minnesota, the answer is, “No, not if you don’t want to.” Your tips are your tips. For decades, it has been the law in Minnesota that an employer cannot require an employee to pool (i.e., share) their tips with other employees or the employer (including management).[1] In fact, an employer cannot play any role …

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Employment Needs
The U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Religious Institutions to Violate Anti-Discrimination Laws

In a 7-2 decision announced on July 8, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to exempt two religious elementary schools from lawsuits by former teachers claiming the schools had fired them for alleged discriminatory reasons. In doing so, the Supreme Court relied on the “ministerial exception,” which holds that the schools’ First Amendment right to …

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Halunen Law – Employment
DEPARTMENT STORE CHAIN SETTLES SICK DAY LAWSUIT

Nationwide retailer Dillard’s recently settled an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by workers who say the department store forced them to provide detailed medical information in order to use their sick days. The class-action suit lasted for four years and was lead largely by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC says that the company forced …

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Historic Supreme Court Opinion Affirms Protections for LGBT Workers

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII’s prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sex also prohibit an employer from discriminating against an employee because of their sexual orientation or transgender status. Prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, only 21 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto …

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A New Day in Court for Victims of Sexual Harassment: Kenneh v. Homeward Bound, Inc.

In an important decision on June 3, 2020, in the case Kenneh v. Homeward Bound, Inc.[1] the Minnesota Supreme Court held that Minnesota courts are not bound by restrictive federal court guidance in determining what constitutes sexual harassment under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). For the past several decades, federal courts have applied an extremely …

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Woman-at-compter-wearing-gloves-and-a-mask-for-Covid-protection
What are My Rights as an Employee in the COVID-19 Pandemic?

With the dialing down of the stay-at-home order, many employers are laying off more and more employees or, just the opposite, calling laid off employees to return back to work. What are your rights during these confusing times? Can my employer lay me off? And, what should I consider if I am laid off? Yes. …

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Halunen Law – Employment
DEPARTMENT STORE DINGED FOR PRYING INTO EMPLOYEE’S HEALTH PROBLEMS

Back in grade school, taking a sick day meant coming in the next day with a note for the teacher explaining the absence. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the national department store chain Dillards took that old-school practice too far when it required detailed information about employees’ medical conditions in return for sick leave. …

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Halunen Law – Employment
DISPUTE OVER FIRING IN SILICON VALLEY SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE

Controversy continues to spark in the ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit brought earlier this year by a prominent partner at a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The junior partner initiated a lawsuit after years of alleged sexual harassment by a superior at the firm. The lawsuit has caused shockwaves across the tech industry, which had been widely …

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Illustration-of-people-wearing-face-masks
Minneapolis Mayor Signs New Requirements for Wearing Face Masks that Implicates Employers

COVID-19 has radically changed the lives of billions, and if you are living in Minneapolis, Minnesota there are new and developing requirements for face masks, issued by Mayor Jacob Frey. On May 21, 2020, Mayor Frey issued an emergency regulation, which requires people in the City of Minneapolis to wear face masks—homemade, surgical, N95, or …

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