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Tag: ‘Employment Law’

Offspring of Camelot’s Demise: The Legal Legacy of JFK’s Assassination

A myriad of changes in the law, spanning criminal procedure, civil rights and employment law among others, were triggered by the death of President Kennedy 50 years ago. Both federal and Minnesota law and practice reflect that legacy. Now that the splurge of media attention to the 50th anniversary of the death of President John […]

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The Canary Sings Again: New Life for the Minnesota Whistleblower Act

The scope of Minnesota’s Whistleblower Act was restricted for many years by courts that narrowly interpreted “good faith” and declined to recognize reports of common law violations as protected activity. Recent legislation has expanded the scope of the act and clarified its purposes. The Minnesota Whistleblower Act (hereinafter “MWA”), Minn. Stat. §§181.931–.932, formerly weakened by decades of case law, […]

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FMLA Turns 20: Taking Leave, But Not Bowing Out

Twenty years after its enactment, the Family and Medical Leave Act remains vital and has been relied on by significant numbers of employees.  Minnesota has a number of other provisions mandating leave for employees in certain circumstances, but both employers and employees must take care to know and comply with the requirements to avoid difficulty. […]

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Minnesota’s Revised Uniform Arbitration Act: Unintended Consequences for Minnesota Labor Relations

Minnesota’s RUAA has much to commend it as a tool for effective arbitration of increasingly complex civil disputes, but its very complexity and alignment with litigation principles threatens to undercut what has historically made labor arbitration effective. Arbitration as an alternative to litigation has a long and illustrious history in Minnesota. In 1955 Minnesota became […]

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Workplace Defamation Claims in Minnesota

Workplace gossip has moved beyond the water cooler into cyberspace, combining with high unemployment and increasing damages awards—not to mention Minnesota’s somewhat unique theory of compelled self-publication—to heighten the potential for defamation claims arising from the workplace. Anecdotal evidence suggests the use of email and social media is increasing the potential for defamation claims arising […]

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Noncompetes for Professionals: It’s Not for Amateurs

Employment agreements restricting future competition by learned and licensed personnel have garnered mixed reviews from courts around the country and in Minnesota.  Nevertheless, certain professions appear to be more compatible with such agreements than others. Laws pertaining to noncompete agreements vary from state to state.  Although there are some general principles applicable in most jurisdictions, […]

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Employee Retaliation Claims

Retaliation claims in the workplace have gained prominence in recent years at both federal and state court levels.  While recent federal rulings have tended to favor employees, Minnesota state court decisions have treated retaliation claims more skeptically. As the United States Supreme Court returned to work last month to begin its 2011-12 term, on the […]

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Duty-of-Loyalty Claims in Minnesota

Society has an interest in encouraging entrepreneurial employees to launch new businesses and also to ensure that those same employees perform their duties to their employers in good faith.  Apart from the strictures of contracts and trade secrets law, employees’ obligations include a duty of loyalty that attempts to balance the interests of employer and […]

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Individual in the Class: Marital Status Discrimination in Employment

A venerable Minnesota statute, given new life by a recent decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court, focuses inquiry on characteristics of the individual rather than the class of those affected in weighing claims of marital status discrimination.  This could have significant impact on an employer’s potential liability for what would be permissible actions in other […]

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Navigating Noncompete Agreements

The tide seems to be turning in Minnesota in favor of the use of these restrictive employment devices. Minnesota formerly was a safe harbor, relatively speaking, for employees navigating through noncompete contracts.  But rulings by the Minnesota Court of Appeals in recent years, including two last winter, signify troubled waters for employees who seem to be swimming […]

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