Halunen Law Blog


man at home
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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With the 2020 elections fast-approaching, focus has again shifted to issues surrounding the availability of health care and medical leave. Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly given the current political climate, we’re hearing a lot of talk, but not seeing a lot of action, which is particularly tragic given the fact that less than 15% of …

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Halunen Law – Employment

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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Gay Pride Flag
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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Woman Telecommuting – Working From Home Taking Care of Baby
Employees Take a Stand – Telecommuting Can Be a Reasonable Accommodation

The landscape for workplaces is changing. As technology evolves, so too does the way we do our jobs. Many people can (and do) work just as effectively at home as they do at work. And a recent court case said just that. It held that a telecommuting arrangement could be a reasonable accommodation for a …

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A Courthouse for class ation lawsuits
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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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

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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