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March 2016 Archives

Free speech vs, sexual harassment on campuses

Sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace under the Minnesota Human Rights Act as well as the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws describe sexual harassment as falling under an umbrella of behaviors, including requests for sexual favors, undesired sexual advances and sexually-based speech. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers are required to immediately address the issue to maintain a safe, non-hostile work environment for all workers.

Pregnancy discrimination: An ongoing problem in the workplace

Although the U.S. Department of Labor reports that 57 percent of women are active in the workforce, many Minnesota women still face discrimination from employers or potential employers. This is especially true when they are pregnant. At Neaton & Puklich, P.L.LP., we often see clients who have been blatantly discriminated against during all stages of pregnancy, and understand that the issue will continue to be a problem until employers are forced to change their approach to handling these matters.

Military members protected from wrongful termination

When Minnesota members of the National Guard or Reserve are called in for training or duty, they may be required to leave their regular jobs in order to fulfill their obligation to the government. While in peacetime, this obligation usually consists of training drills that take place one weekend each month in addition to a full two-week program annually. During war, it could be an indefinite period of time. To protect these people from negative consequences associated with their service, the federal and Minnesota governments have taken steps to ensure these workers are properly treated.

Who is eligible for FMLA?

The Family Medical Leave Act is in place to help you get through potentially difficult circumstances in your life that may otherwise affect your employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only certain workers are eligible for protection under the FMLA. To receive the benefits, your private employer must have 50 or more employees that are covered under the law, or you must work for a government agency. Furthermore, before being eligible for FMLA you must have been employed with an eligible employer for at least 12 months with no breaks lasting longer than seven years. In those 12 months, you must have worked 1250 hours prior to the start date of your leave. There must also be at least 50 employees within 75 miles of the site at which you work for you to be eligible under the law.

Forced arbitration bill introduced in U.S. Senate

When employment disputes arise, employees hope to use existing Minnesota and federal laws to help them prove and win their cases in a court of law. However, the widespread use of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts has made it increasingly difficult for everyday people do so.