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Arguments say new law could increase harassment at work

Employees in Minnesota can be subject to a variety of inequities in the workforce despite clear laws designed to protect the civil rights of all workers. From sexual harassment to wrongful termination, the potential issues are endless at times. All people who work in Minnesota should be educated about what their employers are legally required to provide for them.

Sometimes it is the laws themselves that can seem to open up opportunities for harassment. Such is the case in the eyes of some lawmakers about a bill currently proposed in the state House of Representatives. The legislation, if passed, would reduce the state’s minimum wage for any worker that earns over $12 per hour in tips in addition to any wages collected. An amendment was offered to the bill that would force employers with at least three sexual harassment incidents on record to pay a higher wage to employees.

Opponents of the bill indicate that such an act would increase the potential for sexual harassment. They cite a report that states employers who pay sub-minimum wages to workers are likelier to push employees to dress more provocatively in order to solicit better tips. A news report also suggests that workers who know they must rely more heavily upon tips for their income can be forced into accepting behavior from customers that would otherwise be deemed unacceptable. This could include lewd comments, unwanted sexual advances and more.

A workplace free of discrimination and harassment is every worker's right. Talking to an attorney when these problems arise may be helpful.

Source: The Uptake, “Harassment Changes Bill to Lower Minimum Wage,” Michael Mcintee, March 24, 2015

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