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EMPLOYMENT LAW

Joshua Newville, Minnesota Employment Lawyer, Civil Rights Attorney, and Mediator

Employment law is a broad subject area that includes:  wrongful termination, severance, sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, hostile work environment, whistleblower protections, wage and hour regulations, medical leave, retaliation, and more. 

Minnesota Employment Law Mediator & Investigator

Employment laws are complicated and often changing. I help parties bring clarity, sense, and direction to employment disputes, including:  employees, employers, executives, and entrepreneurs. I mediate state and federal court disputes in Minnesota and beyond. 

What is Minnesota employment law?

In addition to any contracts an employee may have with their employer directly or through a union, the employment relationship is affected by state and federal law. For example:

What is Minnesota employment law regarding discrimination and harassment?

Various state and federal laws prohibit employment discrimination, which can include related concepts like sexual harassment and wrongful termination. 

Some federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination include: 

 

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits sex-based wage discrimination against men and women who perform substantially equal work. 

 

Numerous state and local laws also protect employees from discrimination. For example:

  • The Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, martial status, status with regard to public assistance, familial status, membership or activity in a local commission, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and age. 

  • The Minnesota Equal Pay Act prohibits discrimination in wages paid to employees based on sex.

  • The Minnesota Age Discrimination Act prohibits private sector employers from refusing to hire or employ, or to discharge, dismiss, or demote a person on the basis that he or she has reached an age of less than 70, except as explicitly authorized by statute, rule, or law. 

  • The Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) regulates drug and alcohol testing for job applicants and employees. 

What is Minnesota employment law regarding wages, benefits, and leaves?

There are a tapestry of federal, state, and local laws that regulate how employers must pay employees and provide certain benefits and leaves. These laws can vary significantly by state and even by city, and also depend on the size of the employer. They govern minimum wage, tips, overtime, salary v. hourly classification, employee v. independent contractor classification, time off of work for medical and other reasons, health insurance, and more. Employers who run afoul of these laws can face significant monetary liability, including being required to pay interest and penalties to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees.​ 

Examples of these laws include:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping, and youth employment standards. State laws such as the Minnesota Payment of Wages Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act also establish rules governing how and when employees are paid. 

  • The Family Medical Leave Act protects employees from losing their jobs and benefits in the event that they need to take leave from their job for certain family and medical reasons. Similarly, Minnesota's new Family and Medical Leave Law (effective Jan 1, 2026) will provide for paid leave for family and medical reasons for up to 20 weeks per year.  

What is Minnesota employment law regarding retaliation and whistleblowers?

There are many laws that prohibit employers from unlawfully retaliating against employees who engage in legally protected conduct. For example, the anti-discrimination laws mentioned above also prohibit employers from retaliating against people who oppose violations of those laws. Taking medical leave, pursuing workers' compensation benefits, and opposing unlawful wage practices are also examples of protected conduct for which an employer may not retaliate.

 

Employers are also barred from retaliating against employees who "blow the whistle" on other kinds of illegal conduct. Furthermore, a number of laws also provide monetary incentives to whistleblowers who expose fraud, such as the federal False Claims Act and the Minnesota False Claims Act.

What is Minnesota employment law regarding severance and non-compete agreements?

 

On February 21, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) delivered a decision impacting a large percentage of non-supervisory employees in the United States. The decision holds that employers cannot offer severance agreements that restrict employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act by including confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions. 

In Minnesota, the use of non-compete agreements will be almost entirely banned as of July 1, 2023.

What are constitutional protections for government employees who work in Minnesota?

Provisions of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protect government employees from being unlawfully discriminated against and/or having their job taken without due process of law. The First Amendment also guarantees certain freedom of speech and provides protection against retaliation by government employers.

Contact an Experienced Employment Law Mediator & Investigator in Minneapolis, MN

To learn more about the mediation and investigation services that Newville PLC provides for employment law disputes in the greater Minneapolis, Minnesota area, get started online by scheduling a mediation or investigation inquiry call.

Related Topics:

Minnesota Retaliation Attorney
Minnesota Wrongful Termination Attorney
Minnesota Wage Tip and Hour Attorney
Minnesota Employment Discrimination Attorney
Minnesota Whistleblower Attorney
Minnesota Legal Investigations Attorney
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