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

How can students address sexual harassment in the workplace?

During college, students often work part-time jobs or obtain a professional internship. While some workings students worry this will put them at a disadvantage, others may be more concerned about how they will be treated due to their sex.

How can students address sexual harassment in the workplace? Oftentimes, it very difficult to talk about such matters when they occur in the workplace. However, like any other employees, students in the workplace, whether paid or unpaid, are afforded rights regarding mistreatment and discrimination.

Whistleblower Protection Act and the rights of a whistleblower

The role of a whistleblower is a vital one in society and the workforce. Without individuals taking the proper steps to blow the whistle, corruption, fraud, unsafe practices and mistreatment could continue in workplaces in Minnesota and elsewhere in the nation. It is a difficult step to take, and brave employees every day report illegal practices in the workplace. A major reason why employees are able to take these huge, challenging actions is the Whistleblower Protection Act.

The Whistleblower Protection Act, which has sense been supplemented in 2012, was passed as an initiative to prevent employees from taking retaliatory action against employees that have filed a complaint regarding any wrongdoings occurring in the workplace.

We are experienced at handling whistleblower retaliation cases

Employees in Minnesota and elsewhere might make observations of certain actions or processes in the workplace. While many of these actions are considered proper and ethical business practices, others might cross legal and ethical lines. If an employee believes they observed a violation of a law or laws in the workplace, that employee might be fearful to speak out or file a report. However, whistleblower rights afford an employee protection when he or she reports an employer for violations in the workplace.

Federal laws protect whistleblowers from retaliatory acts by an employer. This includes actions such as termination, demotions, harassment and other acts of mistreatment.

What are the signs of age discrimination in the workplace?

As a previous blog post highlighted, age discrimination could impact employees and applicants in Minnesota and elsewhere in several ways. While it is considered a serious form of workplace discrimination, it is one that might go unnoticed.

What are the signs of age discrimination in the workplace? Whether a individual is unsure if they are enduring discrimination based on age or are asserting claim based on this mistreatment, it is important to understand the nine most common ways this type of workplace discrimination looks like.

Age discrimination impacting retirement plans

Job security and a timely retirement are often in the life plans and goals of individuals in Minnesota and other states across the nation. While maintaining a job for years and retiring at the age of choice is both ideal and doable for some employees, it is not so easy for others. As workers age, it might be difficult to maintain a job or remain relevant in the industry, especially if age discrimination is the cause for a layoff, firing and unemployment. Moreover, this situation could greatly impact his or her retirement plans.

Age discrimination impacts older workers in both job searches and at their place of employment. Moreover, it negatively impacts an aging worker's ability to find work and even save for retirement. According to recent statistics, the overall unemployment rate for those 45-years-old and older is not higher than those in other age groups, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated in a recent report that incidences of long-term unemployment increases dramatically with age.

Addressing religious discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination in the workplace is a difficult issue for employees and employers to deal with. Whether a worker is experiencing discrimination from a co-worker or a supervisor, it is important that individuals being mistreated or discriminated against have rights and resources to put a stop to this. Employees in Minnesota and other states across the nation may experience or witness different forms of discrimination, and it is important to understand what steps could be taken in these situations.

As last week's blog pointed out, religious discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue affecting the religious freedom of individuals. Discrimination based on religion occurs when an employee's ability to practice his or her religion is under attack.

What are the religious rights in the workplace?

Workplaces in Minnesota and elsewhere in the nation often employ individuals from different backgrounds, embodying different personal characteristics. Diversity in the workplace is often highlighted as a positive factor, helping to add value to the workplace. While diversification is considered positive, some employees have rather negative experiences regarding his or her difference. Due to differences in race, culture and religion, some employees may experience discrimination and harassment, leading to a hostile work environment.

What are the religious rights in the workplace? Because religious discrimination is a serious type of employment discrimination because it attacks an individual's beliefs and faith, employees should understand what rights are afforded to him or her in the situation. According to the Civil Right Act, employees and prospective employees cannot be treated differently because of his or her religious beliefs.

Considering invisible disabilities and disability discrimination

Being safe and comfortable in the work environment seems to be a given and expected circumstance in the workplace; however, this is not experienced by all employees in Minnesota and other states in the nation. In some cases, an employee might feel mistreated due to a personal characteristic, no matter how obvious that characteristic is. In these matters, employee rights still exist and afford employees the opportunity to speak out about these situations, seek a resolution and possibly file an action for compensation for damages.

When individuals think about disabilities suffered by colleagues, it is common to consider obvious and visible disabilities such as those that physically impair an individual. While it is clear that an employee confined to a wheelchair would need reasonable accommodations in the workplace, those suffering less noticeable or invisible disabilities should also be afforded the same workplace accommodations as other employees with disabilities.

Taking action against disability discrimination

Residents in Minnesota often envision the workplace as a comfortable environment that accepts employees from different backgrounds and with different characteristics. While it is very possible for the work environment to be friendly and filled with content employees, there are some situations that could disrupt even the most peaceful workplace. Our law firm understands that events of discrimination not only disrupt the work environment, they violate the rights of employees.

Dealing, or living, with a temporary or permanent disability can present some life challenges. In the work environment, if an employee is mistreated because of his or her mental or physical disability, this is considered a form of discrimination. Our law firm has successfully helped past clients combat situations involving harassment and discrimination based on a disability.

What does sexual harassment in the workplace look like?

No matter the age or sex of an employee, the issue of sexual harassment at work is well known. While employees in Minnesota and elsewhere are aware of the seriousness of sex discrimination, many are not fully prepared to deal with such a situation. Moreover, some may not be able to distinguish instances of sexual harassment, causing them to not take appropriate action against mistreatment at work.

What does sexual harassment in the workplace look like? While sexual harassment is not specifically addressed and defined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employees are protected from sex discrimination and any form of harassment that creates a hostile work environment even if it does not violate a federal law. So simply put, an employer or co-worker could violate the rules in a workplace even if a federal law is not violated.

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.

Office Location & Contacts
John A. Klassen, PA
Attorneys at Law
310 4th Avenue South
Suite 5010
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Phone: 612-217-4988
Toll Free: 877-390-4527
Fax number: 612-204-4534