John A. Klassen, P.A.
612-217-4988 877-390-4527

Minneapolis Wrongful Termination Law Blog

Sexual harassment investigation following a claim by an employee

When employees in Minnesota and elsewhere believe that they are victims of sexual harassment, it is often difficult to speak up or file a report or claim. It is often an uncomfortable situation, and many employees might not fully understand what it means to file an action against a harasser. Because of that, it is important be become familiar with the process and what a sexual harassment investigation entails.

When an employee files a sexual harassment claim, it must meet the definition of "sexual harassment." This is outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, and defines sexual harassment as unwelcomed behavior that is sexual in nature and explicitly or implicitly affects the victim's terms or conditions of employment, unreasonably interferes with the victim's work performance or causes an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment.

Protecting your rights and holding harassers accountable

The workplace today is filled with much diversity. This is especially true with regards to a mix of men and women working together at all positions in the work environment. And while diversity today is considered very positive, it could result in very uncomfortable situations or even harassment. Because of this, our law firm focuses on advocating on behalf of employees, ensuring that his or her rights are protected.

The law office of John A. Klassen, PA, has helped employees in Minnesota better understand their situation when he or she is a victim of sexual harassment. Some individuals are not fully aware that he or she is a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. Our legal staff is very knowledgeable of applicable employment laws, and have helped past client successfully navigate their actions.

Did retaliation take place after whistleblowing?

"Blowing the whistle" on an employer is not easy for employees in Minnesota. However, it is considered an important step for employees to take in certain circumstances. This is especially true in situations involving major violations of state and federal laws. If an employee suspects that an employer is violating a law, reporting this violation is considered a protected activity. This means that an employer is not able to take action against the employee for taking necessary steps to report the employer. Despite this, when an employer is aware of the employee who blew the whistle on them, the employer might retaliate against that employee.

How is it possible to determine whether or not retaliation took place after whistleblowing? If employees believe they are a victim of retaliation after blowing the whistle, they may invoke their whistleblower rights. An investigation will take place and must reveal four things. First, it must show that the employee did engage in protected activity. This means that they are in fact a "whistleblower."

Addressing disability discrimination in the workplace

Although discussing disabilities in the work environment is not easy, employees and employers in Minnesota and elsewhere should understand how disabilities could impact employees. This means not only understanding how a disability could directly limit an employee, but also understanding how certain situations could cause the employee to endure employment discrimination.

While the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, defines disabilities and what entails mistreatment, unequal treatment or discrimination, this does not always mean employer and employees know how address these situations. The best way to address disability discrimination in the workplace is understand what it looks like. Employment discrimination could occur in both the hiring phase and while an individual is an employee. If an individual is a qualified applicant, but believes that he or she was not hired because of a disability, this could be cause for a "failure to hire" claim.

Disability discrimination against people with diabetes

There are a variety of illnesses and disabilities that employees in Minnesota and elsewhere need to manage in the workplace. While employers are required to accommodate the workplace for these disabilities, it can still be difficult for some employees to manage an illness at work. Some employers may want to avoid having an employee with these extra needs or accommodations, but this is considered workplace discrimination.

A recent report discussed the difficulties placed on those with diabetes. There was a time when many individuals with diabetes were denied certain jobs or positions, or even lost their jobs, because of this disease. Asking for certain accommodations related to the care and management of diabetes could mean job loss or a decrease in pay.

Why is sexual harassment in the workplace hard to prove?

As a previous post highlighted, sexual harassment in the workplace can take different forms and can occur at varying degrees. Additionally, a victim does not need to be the direct victim of the harasser, but could be an individual impacted by witnessing sexual harassment in the workplace. While sexual harassment could lead to serious damages experienced by a victim, it is not always easy to prove that these situations have occurred in work environments in Minnesota and elsewhere.

Why is sexual harassment in the workplace hard to prove? One reason is that the victim must prove that the unwanted sexual advances were in fact unwelcomed conduct. It could be alleged that a victim voluntarily participated in the conduct. This could be asserted by providing evidence of the victim's provocative speech or how they dressed. However, such evidence is not always relevant in proving whether a particular advance was unwanted or not.

What sexual harassment looks like

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, enforces the prohibitions against certain acts in the workplace. For employees in Minnesota and all other sates in the nation, this means being protected from harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Despite federal and state rules and regulations, various forms of discrimination and harassment still occur in the work environment.

Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination, and when it occurs in the workplace the harasser is violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees, which includes state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organizations and the federal government.

Helping employees invoke their whistleblower rights

Some employees in Minnesota have to make difficult decisions in the workplace. While some of the decisions relate to a certain job title, others might be connected to decisions made or actions taken by an employer. When an employee discovers that an employer is violating a state or federal law or regulations, it can be a difficult situation to navigate.

"Blowing the whistle" on an employer is considered an important step to take, helping to ensure that workplaces are complying with any and all laws and regulations. However, it can be a hard and emotional step to take. Even when a whistleblower employee believes the rights steps were taken to report the employer, this alone does not prevent an employer from retaliation.

Is it common for whistleblowers to experience retaliation?

When employees in Minnesota and elsewhere believe that something unlawful is going on in the workplace, those employees might report their employer to law enforcement officials. While federal laws and regulations protect whistleblowers, this does not eliminate the possibility of an employer taking action to retaliate against an employee.

Proving age discrimination in the workplace

As a previous post highlighted, age discrimination could occur in any industry and for various reasons. Being mistreated in the work environment on the basis of age is a difficult situation to experience, and employees in Minnesota and elsewhere should know the available options.

Both state and federal laws protect employees from discrimination based on age, and employees are able to cite these laws when making a claim of age discrimination. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, also known as ADEA, protects both employees and applicants who are 40-years-old or older from being discriminated against based on their age.

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