With the season comes holiday parties for employers, customers and vendors. Employers will need to do their part to make sure these sponsored events remain free of liability. Here are some suggestions:
With President Trump's announcement to fire the "SOBs" who kneel in disrespect to the flag and national anthem, the whole NFL protest has been the subject of discussion in our office. This brought up the question of whether firing the "SOBs" would be permissible, or retaliation under some law.
The Minnesota Supreme Court, on August 9, 2017, answered a question that has plagued Minnesota employment lawyers for four years. Prior to August 9, 2017, an employee seeking to "blow the whistle" on the employer's practices arguably had to demonstrate, as part of the employee's "good faith" report, that the employee made the report for the "purpose of exposing an illegality." I say arguably, because in 2013, the Minnesota Legislature had ostensibly removed this obligation when it codified a definition of "good faith" in the Minnesota Whistleblower Act. Despite this 2013 amendment, which most practitioners recognized significantly broadened the law in favor of whistleblowers, some courts stubbornly continued to apply the former court-created definition of "good faith." In Friedlander v. Edwards Life Sciences, LLC, the Minnesota Supreme Court finally put that issue to rest by officially holding that the "purpose of exposing an illegality" is no longer a part of an employee's burden of proof.
Drug testing and sexual harassment have found their way into the election for the highest office in the land. Donald Trump has proposed that Hillary Clinton and he each subject themselves to drug testing before Wednesday night's debate to underscore Hillary's being physically unfit for President. Hillary challenges Donald's fitness with a bevy of accusers of Donald Trump's propensity to demean women and allegations he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. Politics aside, what if these were candidates for private employment, and you were the decision-maker?
St. Paul becomes the second city in Minnesota to mandate paid sick leave time for employees. http://www.twincities.com/2016/09/07/st-paul-approves-earned-sick-leave-mandate/. The ordinance, which takes effect July 1, 2017, requires employers to allot their workers an hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 80 hours in a two-year period.