Halunen Law Blog


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Landmark Legislation Protects Minnesota Workers from Employee Misclassification

  On May 20, 2024, the Minnesota legislature passed a groundbreaking bill aimed at tackling the prevalent issue of employer misclassification fraud. This pervasive problem, which affects workers across Minnesota and many other states, involves employers incorrectly classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees. This misclassification allows employers to evade paying employee benefits, protections, …

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Sexual Harassment in the Fast-Food Industry: Women Bear the Brunt of Illegal Workplace Practice

Across our nation, women employed at fast-food establishments are frequently experiencing the horrors of sexual harassment, abuse or assault in their workplace. A survey1 conducted by Hart Research Associates reports that 40% of female fast-food workers reported having been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted on the job. The survey, which included polling 1,217 women aged …

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Understanding Workplace Reasonable Accommodation Discrimination in Minnesota

When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law more than a quarter century ago, it represented a sea change for the rights of those who have disabilities and their access to housing, transportation, places of business, and employment opportunities. Like other laws that prohibit discrimination in employment against people …

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Is Workplace Bullying Illegal?

Employees frequently call our office because they are being harassed or bullied by a boss or co-worker.  You might be surprised to learn that, generally, workplace bullying is not illegal. We are often told that the employer has an Employee Handbook that includes some form of Respectful Workplace Policy that prohibits any type of offensive …

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‘Gendered Ageism’: Discrimination Against Older Women in the Workplace

Each of us is more than the sum of our parts. No single characteristic defines us; rather, we are an amalgamation of different traits, inclinations, experiences and perspectives. For some people, their unique combination of biology and background means they’re members of more than one class that the law protects from workplace discrimination and harassment. …

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NLRB Says Employers Can No Longer Use Severance Agreements to Buy Laid-Off Employees’ Silence

Most employers don’t offer severance packages to laid-off employees out of the kindness of their hearts. They do so because they’re buying something. That something may be employees’ release of any harassment or discrimination claims or promises not to solicit employers’ customers. Employers also use severance agreements to buy employees’ silence. As a result, employees …

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Subtle Signs of Workplace Discrimination

Whatever else they may be, most employers aren’t dumb. They know that engaging in discrimination, harassment or retaliation against protected groups in hiring and employment practices is illegal. They also understand that discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims can negatively affect their finances and their reputations. That’s why workplace discrimination is often subtle and nuanced rather …

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Can You Get Severance If You Quit Your Job?

People quit their jobs for all sorts of reasons – better opportunities, shifting priorities, or the need to escape from uninspiring, frustrating or miserable situations. Whatever motivates workers to move to greener pastures, they typically want to leave with as little drama or animosity as possible. They also want to depart with as much financial …

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Recent Minnesota Supreme Court Case Clarifies Proof Needed for Age Discrimination and Constructive Discharge Claims

Age discrimination in the workplace is rarely open and obvious. An employer that wants to push an older worker out the door likely won’t come out and say, “We’re letting you go because you’re too old.” Instead, the employer may devise pretexts for termination, such as unjustified poor performance reviews. Alternatively, an employer may make …

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Top 5 Questions to Ask When Offered a Severance as Part of a RIF

If your employer has offered you a severance package as part of a Reduction in Force or RIF, you first need to understand that companies typically claim that RIFS are necessary for supposed financial reasons. In truth, though, RIFS are often used to get rid of older, more expensive employees and may constitute age discrimination. …

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