John A. Klassen, P.A.
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Minneapolis Wrongful Termination Law Blog

What are common forms of age discrimination?

Employees and applicants in Minnesota and elsewhere in the nation should understand they have legal rights, no matter their ages. In some cases, an employee or applicant may believe that he or she is experiencing discrimination based upon age. In these matters, it is important to be aware of the laws that protect them against this type of discrimination in the workplace.

What are the common forms of age discrimination? The laws regarding age discrimination forbid any form of discrimination regarding any aspect of employment. This includes hiring, firing, salary amounts, promotions, job assignments, layoffs, job training, fringe benefits and other terms or conditions of employment.

Appeal rights for dismissed employment discrimination claims

When employees in Minnesota and elsewhere in the nation believe that workplace discrimination is occurring concerning them or other employees, filing a claim is often the next step. While this step could lead to an employer facing a civil claim for their actions and damages for those suffering employment discrimination, this does not always occur. In these matters, it is important that those involved in a claim understand their rights, federal and state regulations and the necessary information required for a claim. In some cases, even if a case is dismissed or denied, it could be appealed and overturned.

According to a recent report by Business Insurance, roughly 81 percent of employment discrimination cases overturned on appeal were overturned based on their failure to state a claim or their failure to comply with the statute of limitations. In addition, approximately one-third of all appeals brought each year are overturned.

Taking action against sexual harassment in the workplace

While the workplace is often considered a safe and friendly environment for most employees in Minnesota, that is not always the case. Unwanted sexual advances or other forms of sexual harassment can happen at almost any kind of workplace. These experiences can be uncomfortable, damaging and quite possibly illegal. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to talk about them or to take action against them.

When an employee experiences sexual harassment, they may not be fully aware that they are in fact experiencing a form of unlawful discrimination. In these matters, it is important to be able to discuss the matter with a professional. Employment law attorneys are well versed in the areas of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination and can advise workers on their rights and legal options.

What is sexual harassment and what can employees do?

When an employee feels uncomfortable in the workplace, it is important that they understand how to address the situation. Whether they work in Minnesota or elsewhere in the nation, employees should not be subjected to offensive conduct or unwanted sexual advances in the work environment. These actions constitute sexual harassment, and whether carried out by an employer or a co-worker, there are employee rights that protect a worker when faced with these uncomfortable and wrong situations.

What is sexual harassment and what can employees do when if they experience it? According to the law, harassment is unwanted or unwelcomed conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or disability. This behavior becomes unlawful when the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment or creates a hostile work environment.

Employee's rights and religious discrimination

The workplace can be a very diverse atmosphere, filled with employees of different races, cultures, religions and ages. Despite this being a naturally occurring and beneficial characteristic in the work environment, some employees in Minnesota and other states across the nation experience mistreatment, harassment or discrimination because of their differences. When employment discrimination occurs, it is important that employees understand how to speak out about their experience or the experience of others in order to protect their civil rights.

In Minnesota, and elsewhere in the nation, employees come for all different faiths. In some cases, religious beliefs or faiths are the reason that some employees are mistreated or discriminated against. Employees should be aware that they have employee rights, and any discrimination based on any characteristic, including religious belief, is against the law.

Former Hertz employees in Minneapolis file discrimination suit

Employees in the United States are afforded many rights in the workplace. When an employee is unlawfully terminated or endures workplace discrimination, they have options to find a legal remedy. Employees who are mistreated in the work environment or witness illegal actions in the workplace are afforded the right to take action, which could include filing an employment discrimination claim regarding the situation and seeking damages for the harm they incurred. One such legal claim was made in Minnesota, and others should take note.

A class action lawsuit was recently filed by six former employees of the Hertz rental car company at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The suit claims the company discriminated against its employees based on race, ethnicity and religion.

How does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act protect employees?

It is not uncommon for women in the work force in Minnesota and other states across the nation to get pregnant. Whether they are seeking employment or are currently employed, pregnant women should understand their rights and how the Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination based on their pregnancy and health conditions related to their pregnancy. If a pregnant woman believes that she has been mistreated or discriminated against due to her pregnancy, she should understand that she has options regarding this violation of her civil rights.

How does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act protect female employees? The Act was devised to prevent the unfavorable treatment of employees and applicants because of pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions arising out of the woman's pregnancy or childbirth. This includes any form of discrimination related to the hiring, firing, salary, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, health insurance and maternity leave.

Disabled Minnesota employee awarded in discrimination suit

Whether an employee is dealing with a permanent, temporary, new or old disability, Minnesota residents should understand their rights regarding their disability and employment. When an employee lives with a disability, they should not be mistreated due to this disability. Furthermore, if they experience employment discrimination based on this disability, they might have cause to file a suit.

It was recently reported that a former disabled employee of a Minnesota municipal utility company was awarded a settlement after they filed a cause of action for disability discrimination in the workplace. This action was filed after the former IT specialist claimed he was being harassed in the workplace shortly after he had his leg amputated in 2010.

Proving employer retaliation after filing a whistleblower claim

Many employees in Minnesota are aware of whistleblower rights and the protection the regulations offer to employees. In most cases, these protective rights are used to prevent employer retaliation after an employee speaks out or files a claim regarding illegal practices and conduct within the workplace. Even though whistleblower rights protect the employee from being retaliated against or terminated for filing a claim, their employer could still retaliate. This is why it is important to understand how to address the situation, document the misconduct and prove that they are dealing with a hostile environment based on their protected conduct.

If an employee is fired based on their blowing the whistle, it is important to document facts and circumstances that could help inference that the employee's discharge was discriminatory and based on their whistleblower claim.

Verdict of a Minnesota whistleblower claim upheld

Losing a job is very concerning for any employee in Minnesota. This is especially detrimental for those that lose their job in retaliation for their speaking out about illegal practices in the workplace. In these matters, employees should understand that they may have rights under whistleblower protection. Whistleblower rights provide employees with the opportunity to file a cause of action for the damages they suffered for speaking out about illegal practices by their employer.

The Minnesota appellate court recently upheld a jury's verdict in a whistleblower case. The verdict ordered a local for-profit college to pay $395,000 in compensatory damages to a former department head. According to reports, the employee sued the school after she was terminated in retaliation for raising concerns about certain practices of the school.

Defending the Civil Rights of Vulnerable People

When employers discriminate or allow harassment and retaliation to take place or continue, we are dedicated to holding them accountable for their unlawful actions.

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John A. Klassen, PA
Attorneys at Law
310 4th Avenue South
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Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-217-4988
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