Pre-Employment Physical Examinations in Minnesota

Pre-Employment Physical Examinations in Minnesota

MINNESOTA LAW For more information, see When Can an Employer Give a Pre-Employment Physical? A Minnesota employer may require an applicant, as a condition of hire, to submit to a pre- employment physical exam, which may include a medical history, if: The applicant (except for certain peace officer applicants) has first received an offer of…

Alcohol and Drug Addiction: Protected Disabilities vs. Employment Termination

Alcohol and Drug Addiction: Protected Disabilities vs. Employment Termination

Is An Alcoholic Employee (or Drug Addicted Employee) Protected? An individual with alcoholism or a drug addiction is protected under the Minnesota Human Rights Act as a “qualified disabled person” if he or she can, with reasonable accommodation, perform the essential functions of the job in question and does not constitute a direct threat to…

Background Checks of Minnesota Employees

Background Checks of Minnesota Employees

Employers hiring certain types of employees are required by law to perform background checks. For example, employers hiring security guards are required to check their backgrounds with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and employers hiring certain counselors are required to check their references for evidence of sexual contact with patients or former patients. (See footnote…

Affirmative Action in Minnesota

Affirmative Action in Minnesota

Before an individual is actually hired, a company that contracts with the government should consider what effect the hiring will have on its affirmative action obligations to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities and covered veterans. Federal, state and local laws each have different criteria for compliance with their respective affirmative action…

Interviewing Employees in Minnesota

Interviewing Employees in Minnesota

When interviewing a prospective job applicant, the employer should only ask questions which reasonably relate to the job in question. The employer should not request information that is not job-related and must not ask questions that might reveal an applicant’s protected status. If discriminatory questions are asked or discussed during an interview, the employer may…

The Employment Application in Minnesota

The Employment Application in Minnesota

The employer must review the employment application carefully. In order to determine whether all the questions asked are appropriate, consider whether the information requested is reasonably related to the job for which the applicant is applying. For example, does the employer really need to know whether an applicant for a custodian position has a driver’s…

Hiring in General: General Hiring Practices in Minnesota

Hiring in General: General Hiring Practices in Minnesota

When an employee is hired in Minnesota, unless the employer and the employee enter into an oral or written employment agreement or a collective bargaining agreement specifying otherwise, that employee is employed “at-will,” which means the employer can discharge the employee at any time for any lawful reason and the employee can quit at any…

The Employment Relationship in Minnesota

The Employment Relationship in Minnesota

This and any related posts are designed to be an employment law resource for Minnesota business owners. Before delving into the law surrounding the employment relationship, however, the business owner must determine whether the individuals it has retained to perform services are employees or independent contractors. Business owners who use independent contractors may think they…

Minnesota Hiring Law & HR Best Practices

Minnesota Hiring Law & HR Best Practices

The following posts will cover the hiring process in Minnesota including: The Employment Relationship Hiring in General Advertising for Employment in Minnesota The Employment Application – The Application Process, Disclaimers Interviewing Out of Town and Recruited Candidates Affirmative Action in Minnesota Background Checks Pre-Employment Testing Pre-Employment Physical Examinations Drug and Alcohol Testing of Applicants Offer…

Trucking, Messenger, & Courier Independent Contractors:

Trucking, Messenger, & Courier Independent Contractors:

Independent Contractors In The Trucking And Messenger/Courier Industries This post is part of a series of posts on common issues Minnesota employers face. Minn. Stat. 176.043, effective August 1, 2009, lays out the criteria for when an operator in the trucking and messenger/courier industry is considered an employee or an independent contractor. There are seven…

Who’s an Employee in MN? Independent Contractors In The Construction Industry

Who’s an Employee in MN? Independent Contractors In The Construction Industry

This post is part of a series of posts on common issues Minnesota employers face. Independent Contractors In The Construction Industry Minn. Stat. 181.723, requires individuals (not corporations, LLCs or partnerships) who work as independent contractors in public or private commercial or residential building construction to obtain from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry…

Who’s an Employee in Minnesota? MN Independent Contractor Laws

Who’s an Employee in Minnesota? MN Independent Contractor Laws

Independent Contractors This post is part of a series of posts on common issues Minnesota employers face. Persons who follow an independent trade, business or profession in which they offer their services to the general public usually are considered independent contractors and not employees. However, whether such persons are employees or independent contractors depends on…

Who’s an Employee in Minnesota? | MN Statutory Employees

Who’s an Employee in Minnesota? | MN Statutory Employees

Statutory Employees This post is part of a series of posts on common issues Minnesota employers face. Even if a worker is not an employee under common law rules, he or she may be considered an employee for certain statutory purposes, such as FICA (Social Security and Medicare) tax, federal and state unemployment insurance taxes,…

Who’s an Employee in Minnesota? – Common Law Employees in MN

Who’s an Employee in Minnesota? – Common Law Employees in MN

Common Law Employees This post is part of a series of posts on common issues Minnesota employers face. Under common law rules, courts balance a number of factors to determine whether an employer- employee relationship exists. The employer‘s right to control the manner and means of performing the work is the most important factor distinguishing…

Minnesota Employer Issues: Who is an Employee?

Minnesota Employer Issues: Who is an Employee?

Issues for Minnesota Employers: Who Is An Employee in Minnesota? The next several posts will discuss different types of workers, including: Common Law Employees Statutory Employees Independent Contractors Independent Contractors In The Construction Industry Independent Contractors In The Trucking And Messenger/Courier Industries In General Many laws affecting the worker/employment relationship will require the business owner…

Employers have Legal Rights when an Employee Leaves to Compete

Employers have Legal Rights when an Employee Leaves to Compete

When an employee leaves to compete with an employer, employer’s have a number of legal rights and options. The Problem: Employees Leave and then Compete with Their Former Employer One problem many employers face is employees who leave the company and then compete with the employer. Typically, a valuable employee will think to herself, “I…

Social Media and Internet Use Policy: Does My Business Need One?

Social Media and Internet Use Policy: Does My Business Need One?

When a business starts hiring employees, business owners often become concerned about their employees’ online activity. Concerns may include some of these: illegal online conduct (such as copyright infringement by illegally downloading music and movies, which can result in legal consequences), online pornography or sexually inappropriate materials, defamatory (libel and slander) comments posted on websites…

House of Representatives Moves to Limit Power of National Labor Relations Board

House of Representatives Moves to Limit Power of National Labor Relations Board

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2857 to limit the power of the National Labor Relations Board from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance. H.R. 2587 “Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act” The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act to deny the NLRB any power…

Considering Employee Retirement Benefit Plans When Choosing a Business Type

Considering Employee Retirement Benefit Plans When Choosing a Business Type

Retirement Benefit Plans Retirement benefit plans include qualified employee benefit plans, nonexempt trusts and annuity plans, self-employed retirement plans, indiv idual retirement arrangements, and simplified employee pension plans. The tax treatment of contributions to these plans is highly technical; also there are frequent changes in tax laws that affect the treatment of those contributions. A…

Considering Fringe Benefits When Choosing a Business Type

Considering Fringe Benefits When Choosing a Business Type

Fringe Benefits Fringe benefits include items such as accident and health insurance, medical savings accounts, group term life insurance, salary continuation plans, reimbursements for educational expenses, dental insurance, death benefits, day care programs, supplemental unemployment benefits, “cafeteria plan” programs, and others. As with employee retirement benefit plans, the tax treatment of fringe benefits is a…

Home Health Workers: Difference in Federal and Minnesota Wage & Hour Laws

Home Health Workers: Difference in Federal and Minnesota Wage & Hour Laws

Wages for employees are covered by both Federal and state wage and hour laws. The federal law that governs wage and overtime requirements is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the regulations established under that act. In most cases, the FSLA does not require employers to pay minimum wage or overtime to employees who…

When is a Minnesota Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

When is a Minnesota Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Most workers who are paid an hourly wage and work more than 40 hours in a 7-day work week must be paid overtime. When paying overtime, a business must pay at least one and one-half times the worker’s regular hourly rate. Generally, employers cannot provide “comp” pay instead of paying overtime. For those employers not…

Liquidated Damages under the Family Medical Leave Act – Good Faith Defenses

Liquidated Damages under the Family Medical Leave Act – Good Faith Defenses

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that if an employer violates the FMLA, the employee may be entitled to “liquidated damages”. Liquidated damages are in essence a penalty, are in addition to actual damages and are calculated as an amount equal to: Wages, salary, employment benefits or other compensation denied or lost to…