Level & Company Executives
Employment law affords special protection to employees because there is a concern that the company has leverage because of its size and sophistication. Employees rely on their jobs to live. Thus, the law gives employees special rights. Executives who have been treated unfairly or illegally should contact a Minnesota employment attorney for case analysis and evaluation of their legal rights and options.
Employment attorneys regularly represent companies and executives in claims and litigation involving the following:
- unpaid wages
- wrongful termination
- severe harassment in the workplace
- workers compensation
- unemployment appeals
- breach of employment agreement
These claims may arise in federal court, state court, and state agencies.
Minnesota Employment Laws
- Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA)
- Minnesota Prevailing Wages Act (MPWA)
- Minnesota Child Labor Act (MCLA)
- Minnesota Parental Leave Act (MPLA)
Federal Employment Law
Employment attorneys are experienced in a variety of common legal issues and laws including the following:
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (minimum wage and overtime pay)
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (pregnancy and medical leave)
- Consumer Credit Protection Act (wage garnishment)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (employee benefit plans)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), (discrimination ‘based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin)
- the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) (sex-based wage discrimination)
- the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) (age-based discrimination for 40 years old and older)
- Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (discrimination against disabled individuals)
- Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (discrimination against the disabled federal jobs)
- Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) (genetic information discrimination)
- Civil Rights Act of 1991 (monetary damages for intentional discrimination)
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
Small Businesses are Not Entirely Exempt from Employment Laws
Small business owners with employees are still subject to a large number of employment legal requirements. Small business owners are excluded from some employment law mandates for large companies, but a substantial portion of employment laws apply equally to small businesses. A Minnesota employment lawyer can provide counsel to small business owners, helping them avoid legal trouble or deal with claims by an employee or ex-employee.
Employment Law Services
At-will employment is different from contract employment. At-will employment is the default unless the employer and employee enter into a contract. A contract changes the legal rights of employers and employees impacting employee discipline, discharge, and other issues.
Movies and news stories provide many examples of overt discrimination. However, subtle forms of discrimination occur every day in the workplace. Often, illegal discrimination is hidden by the pretense of a lawful basis for terminating an employee or violating an employees’ rights.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act’s purpose is to establish minimum wage and overtime compensation standards. The qualifications for this to apply are relatively low so most employers are subject to the FLSA.
Minnesota Parental Leave Act
In Minnesota, any employer who employs 21 or more employees is required to maintain the MLPA. An employee is eligible if they have worked 12 months or more and have worked at least half of the hours per week as an employee with the same position working full time. If the employee fulfills these two requirements, the employer is required to grant them up to six weeks of unpaid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. This does not restrict an employer from allowing more time or benefits. If you are being denied this right, contact an attorney immediately to help you receive the leave that you are entitled.
National Labor Relations Act
Occupational Safety and Health Act
The purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Act is to protect employees in their work environment. OSHA provides regulations of hazards that may exist in the workplace to ensure that employees are not unnecessarily exposed to risks.
Settlement, Mediation & Negotiation
When trying to solve disputes that arise between employees and employers, lawsuits and litigation are not the only answer. Oftentimes the matter can be addressed through negotiation, mediation, and a settlement. This can be beneficial to both sides because it avoids long time consuming and expensive trials.
With high unemployment, businesses have begun to appeal unemployment insurance applications by previous employees more often. Therefore, it is important to strengthen your appeal for unemployment by determining if you have the proper grounds for a claim or consulting an attorney to discuss how to combat the employer’s appeal.
Whistleblower protections are a relatively new category of protections for employees. In general, they protect employees from retaliation by their employer if they complain about the company. This is to protect the employee’s ability to speak out against an employer if they are doing something wrong.
While a significant amount terminations occur every day, distinguishing legitimate ones and those that are wrongful can be difficult. If your termination was based on discriminatorily matters, because you were claiming harassment or a number of other reasons, you may have been wrongfully terminated.
Agreement / Contract
When you obtain a position as an employee you will usually sign an employment agreement. This agreement is a contract established between the employee and employer that lays out the specifics of employment and what is excepted of the employee.
A confidentiality agreement is an arrangement between at least two people to distinguish what information they discuss cannot be discussed elsewhere. These are very similar to contracts but instead of determining what they are able to do, it lays out what they cannot do.
There are a number of laws and regulations that employers should be aware of before hiring or employing minors in Minnesota.
Harassment is another form of discrimination that can occur in the workplace. It is considered harassment if it is done against someone based on a specific quality such as gender or race and it is adequately harsh to create a hostile work atmosphere or if it results in a concrete change in an employee’s position or benefits.
Minnesota’s Women’s Economic Security Act
Typically, a noncompete agreement is a clause in an employment contract which promises that an employee will not engage in the same type of business for a set amount of time once no longer employed.
Qui tam refers to the method in the federal False Claims Act that gives a person or entity with evidence of fraud against federal programs the ability to sue the offender on behalf of the government. Therefore, it is a suit brought against the government by a private plaintiff and the federal government may or may not join in the lawsuit.
The Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act gives eligible employees, working under employers that are covered, unpaid and job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. This protects employees from not being able to take care of their family or themselves because of fear of losing their job or status within that job.
If you are owed unpaid wages from not being paid what you were supposed to be or not receiving overtime, there are ways of insuring that your past or current employer pays them.
Work related injuries can be very difficult and result in significant losses in income. Workers’ compensation benefits can be helpful in limiting the damage.