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

Minneapolis Wrongful Termination Law Blog

How do you address sexual harassment in the work environment?

Being comfortable in the work environment is important to employees in Minnesota. Working in a safe, healthy and fair work environment is not only conducive to productivity but also protects the rights of the employees. When a supervisor or co-worker oversteps these lines, an employee could suffer greatly. In severe situations the harassment is so pervasive a hostile work environment is created. Sexual harassment creates a very uncomfortable situation and this violation of civil rights could lead to serious damages for the employee experiencing it.

Sexual harassment can range from inappropriate jokes or comments to an unwanted sexual advance. If a supervisor or manager makes promotion, work assignments or continued employment conditional on an employee providing sexual favors, it is called quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Understanding employee rights when whistleblowing

When an employee notices or experiences their employer violating state or federal laws, the employee could speak out and report these violations. While it is important to report these instances, our firm understands that not all employees will speak out about the injustices they experience. Because an employee might fear losing their job or employer retaliation, whistleblower rights have been established. Employees in Minnesota should feel comfortable reporting these instances and taking legal action to protect their rights and the rights of others.

Whether they are directly experiencing these violations or they observe a violation, an employee should understand that they could take action. If retaliation is experienced after a whistleblowing instance, this could be considered a violation of the employee's rights. This could be a violation of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act as well as federal law.

What does age discrimination look like?

Obtaining or maintaining a position at any age can be a momentous event for any employee in Minnesota and states across the nation. Due to the improving economy, some residents do not struggle trying to find adequate employment. While it might be easier to find a job these days, there are still hurdles and pitfalls when trying to find a well-paying job. For some, the individual's age might deter them from applying for some positions, but age should never be a factor in an employer's decision to hire or fire an employee. Age discrimination is a form of employment discrimination that not only prevents some potential employees from receiving a job, but it could also lead to wrongful termination.

In order to understand whether an individual is a victim of age discrimination, it is important to understand what forms this type of discrimination could take. First, age discrimination should be defined. While it is often described as treating either an applicant or an employee unfairly or less favorably due to their age, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) disallows discrimination against those individuals who are 40-years-old or older. This means that the Act does not cover those who are younger than 40. However, some states have implemented legislation aimed at protecting those under the age of 40 from discrimination as well.

Settlement reached in Kluwe's case against the Vikings

Losing a job can be a devastating and emotional event in an individual's life. In some situations, a person might be fired or let go due to poor performance, budget cuts or improper behavior in the work environment. Although it is not an uncommon occurrence for a person to lose their job, it could happen for unlawful reasons. A wrongful termination could be linked to employment discrimination and an employee could lose their job due to a personal characteristic they embody.

Much media has surrounded the release of Chris Kluwe from the Minnesota Vikings due to his support for same-sex marriages. It was recently reported that the parties involved in the suit intend to announce that a settlement has been reached, however, it has not been confirmed that a settlement has been finalized.

Understanding the signs of employment discrimination

Even when residents in Minnesota find a job that they really love, they still deal with the natural ups and downs involved with having a career. Some of these events might make them temporarily dislike their jobs or even co-workers or their employers. While it is common to have bad days at work, employees should note that there are certain occurrences in the workplace that should not be tolerated. Specifically, employment discrimination should not be overlooked and it is important to note the signs of it.

Because some employees do not speak out about employment discrimination or they simply do not know how to recognize it, there are some common signs. It is also important to note that forms of discrimination can occur in different ways and manners and are often defined as the unfavorable treatment of an employee due to his or her race, gender, disability, religion or age.

Understanding what disability discrimination looks like

No matter the characteristics of an individual, obtaining a good and fulfilling career in a safe and supportive workplace should be available to all those seeking employment. Residents in Minnesota who struggle with disabilities often face struggles such as the constraints that their disability includes. Despite being constrained mentally or physically, employees should not face unemployment or termination due to their disabilities. Disability discrimination is a serious issue that could cause a hostile work environment or even the unlawful discharge of an employee.

Not being hired due to a disability is a serious form of employment discrimination and could result in a cause of action. Disability discrimination comes in various forms, but they all stem from employees being treated differently due to their disability, perceived disability or other characteristics associated with a type of disability.

Understanding the signs of sexual harassment in the workplace

Various issues could present themselves in the work environment. When employees in Minnesota struggle with certain actions by their co-workers or superiors, this could lead to a hostile work environment. When unwanted sexual advances are made, this could be an incident of sexual harassment and the worker does have options to get out of the situation. For some employees, these occurrences are not easily noticed, which leads to little to no action taken. It is important to be fully aware of the actions of others in the work place and to speak up about any concerns.

In order to fully establish whether an employee is a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, they should understand the forms they come in and what signs to look for. A recent report highlighted the fact that it is not simply an issue about gender, race or any other defining characteristic but rather a workplace rights issue. An employee has the right to be comfortable in the work environment and free from conduct that could be physically, emotionally and mentally threatening and humiliating.

Ex-director files discrimination charges against Northfield COC

Employees in Minnesota understand that bad workweeks happen, and some might even make career changes due to the work environment not being a proper fit. Despite this, employees should not quit or be terminated for improper reasons. A wrongful termination could be based on employment discrimination. When an employer bases their hiring and firing decisions on the specific characteristics of the employee, this could be ground for a civil action.

It was recently confirmed that the former director of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce filed discrimination charges against the Northfield Chamber. These claims date from November 2013 when she was presumably terminated. Months after the incident, the former director contacted the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to establish whether investigation of her termination was warranted.

Dismissed sexual harassment claim revived

No matter the gender of an employee, if an employer or co-worker makes him or her feel uncomfortable or creates a hostile work environment, there are different actions that can be taken to address the situation. In the case of sexual harassment, comments or inappropriate attention could cause an employee to take action or fail to comply with these advancements. This could eventually lead to the employee quitting or suffering wrongful termination.

The Minnesota Appeals Court recently revived a sexual harassment claim that was filed by a library administrator. The claim was originally filed in Wabasha County District Court and alleged that the woman suffered sexual harassment, was wrongfully terminated. The complaint also claimed that the city violated the open meeting laws.

Increase in work visas blamed for wrongful terminations

An employee in Minnesota often seeks to keep their job until they retire, change career paths or pursue further education. A worker does not expect to be terminated without a good reason. If a situation such as workplace discrimination occurs, workers are not often aware of their options in the situation let alone that they may be in an employment discrimination circumstance.

As foreign work visas continue to increase and expand, so do the number of jobs now being held by immigrant workers. These newly-arriving, skilled and unskilled temporary workers have recently caused much concern for those who have been laid-off, particularly in the tech sector. Some employees have been claiming that they lost their jobs to a foreign worker because their employers are able to pay them less for the same position.

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
10 South Fifth Street
700 Lumber Exchange
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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