Minnesota’s “ban the box” law takes effect January 1

by Richard R. Voelbel

Minnesota’s new “ban the box” law takes effect January 1, meaning private employers will be prohibited from inquiring about a job candidate’s criminal background until after the candidate has been selected for an interview or has received a conditional offer of employment.

Public employers already have been prohibited from including a box on job applications requiring applicants to reveal criminal history. After January 1, private employers will join public employers in no longer being allowed to “inquire into or consider or require disclosure of” an applicant’s criminal record or criminal history until after the applicant has been selected for an interview. If there is no interview, the prohibition applies until a conditional offer of employment is made.

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Minnesota 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage

by Michael G. McNally

The Minnesota Marriage Equality Bill, HF 1054, was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton on May 14, 2013. Effective August 1, 2013, Minnesota will allow individuals of the same sex to marry.

Employers need to review their policies relating to employee health and retirement benefits to reflect this change. What changes are allowed or required will differ based on whether the benefit is governed by state or federal law.

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Minneapolis shooting a reminder to be on guard against workplace violence

October 02, 2012 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The September 28 shootings that killed six at a Minneapolis business put employers on notice that workplace violence can occur with no warning.

Other times, though, there are signs that employers should heed. The October issue of Minnesota Employment Law Letter contains an article titled “Employers look anew at preventing violence in the workplace.” It reminds employers that indications of potential workplace violence can include violent or aggressive behavior, threats, employees carrying weapons, and drug or alcohol abuse.

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IRS Offering Employers Break on Misclassification

September 22, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Employers worried that they may have misclassified independent contractors may find relief in a new program from the IRS.

The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) was announced September 21 and offers employers the opportunity to get into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit.

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Wal-Mart Agrees to Major Class-Action Settlement

December 30, 2008 - by: HR Hero 5 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has announced that it will pay a minimum of $352 million to settle wage and hour lawsuits across the country, possibly the largest such settlement ever. The 63 wage and hour class-action lawsuits that are being settled have been pending for several years, according to a statement from the company.

Each of the settlements is subject to approval by the trial court. The total settlement amount will depend on the amount of claims submitted by class members, according to the company statement. The total will be at least $352 million and no more than $640 million. Also, as part of the settlements, Wal-Mart has agreed to continue to use electronic systems and other measures to maintain compliance with wage and hour laws.

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