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

Minneapolis Wrongful Termination Law Blog

Laws influencing the Americans with Disabilities Act

The existence of disability discrimination in the workplace is disheartening and unfortunate. However, various laws have been passed and amended to help disabled workers. Going in order, section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits the federal government, as an employer, from discriminating against individuals with qualified disabilities.

In July of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was signed. It was considered the first comprehensive civil rights law for individuals with disabilities. The Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, in public services, in public accommodations and in telecommunications. This was followed by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which overruled several Supreme Court decisions that made it difficult for plaintiffs to prevail in discrimination actions.

Helping employees and applicants protect their employment rights

Not all work situations are ideal. In some cases, serious situations of employment discrimination are the root cause for issues in the workplace. Such situations should be confronted, and at our law firm we understand that taking steps to address discrimination in the workplace is not an easy task to complete.

As a previous post discussed, race discrimination is a serious situation for employees and job applicants, leading some to take action. If you believe you have suffered race discrimination in the course of employment or during the application process based on a pre-application screening, it is important to address this situation.

How does Title VII protect applicants from race discrimination?

It comes with no surprise that employers in Minnesota and elsewhere use specific requirements when filling an available employee position. While it is common to require certain characteristics and conditions of applicants, such as a college degree, advanced degrees, specified knowledge and certain physical capabilities, there are certain characteristics that cannot be used during pre-employment screening to determine whether an applicant is appropriate for a position.

One major factor that cannot be used to assess the quality of an applicant is race. Race discrimination is prohibited and cannot be used intentionally or unintentionally in work policies or for hiring criteria. Such circumstances are protected and covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Background checks and Minnesota employment discrimination

No matter the degree of the incident, being a victim of employment discrimination is a difficult situation for employees and applicants in Minnesota and other states throughout the country. When an individual believes he or she is being mistreated or unfairly treated, due to a personal characteristic, such as race, he or she could file a cause of action to address the situation and seek damages related to the situation.

One concerning issue that has been cited in the hiring process is background checks. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance is used to address the concerns regarding the consideration of arrest and conviction records in the course of employment decisions. Moreover, these issues are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but are addressed in updated enforcement guidance documents by the EEOC.

Sexual harassment settlement reached in Mankato case

As a previous blog pointed out, situations involving sexual harassment can spark an uncomfortable situation for Minnesota employees. Additionally, the situation is often difficult to speak out about, and some employees fail to timely report instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. When an employee feels he or she is being mistreated or being harassed based on their sex, it is important to file a complaint. Moreover, if damages have resulted from the situation, the harmed employee might be able to file a cause of action.

A sexual harassment settlement was recently reached in a case that involved Jack Link's Beef, a Wisconsin-based snack company and a former employee at the companies Mankato location. According to reports, the victim in the case was hired in August of 2012 and almost immediately began suffering sexual harassment from her supervisor.

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.

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