Employment lawsuits have proven devastating for many businesses in Rochester and throughout Minnesota. Watching out for these five common employment mistakes can protect your business from lawsuits and other unnecessary liabilities.
Title VII of the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act prohibits an employer from discriminating against its workers because of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. An employers may not retaliate against an employee who charges their employer with discrimination under Title VII or if an employer takes actions that would dissuade a reasonable worker from making discrimination charges under this law.
Minnesota employers may face litigation if they violate an employee's legal rights or discriminate against certain workers. As one example of these employment disputes, Minnesota and federal laws protect the rights of pregnant workers.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime for hours that are worked over a 40-hour workweek at a rate of 1½ times their normal wage rate. These workers have the right to file a legal action to recover any unpaid overtime wages. However, they also assume the burden of proving that they performed work for which they were not adequately compensated.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act set a minimum wage and overtime compensation for each hour worked over a 40-hour workweek. However, Congress also passed the Portal-to-Portal Act that exempts wages for certain activities.
Federal law prohibits an employer engaging in discrimination, such as discriminating based on race or gender, while firing or while disciplining employees. Minnesota employers may fight discrimination claims by adopting procedures for fairly and consistently investigating, documenting and taking action upon employment misconduct or employment disputes.
Many personal injury lawsuits in Minnesota are governed by a two-year statute of limitation restricting the time the suit may be filed. However, a state appellate court recently ruled that Minnesota's whistleblower statute allows a longer six-year time period to file a suit.
Rude conduct in Minnesota may not constitute a hostile work environment that is sufficient to support a workplace discrimination legal case, according to the U.S. Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. Instead, a victim must establish that discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult permeated the workplace.
Some employee rights in Minnesota are important. However, these rights may be overlooked and unnecessarily lead to business disputes. Employers are required, for example, to review their personnel records and obtain a copy of these records under certain circumstances.
Business planning in Minnesota should include human resources' policies that help prevent litigation and secure profitability. Policies concerning job references may avoid employment disputes.