Hard Copy Coursebook
ITEM #:  30185917   |   PUBLISHED:  MAY 22, 2017

The Complete Employment Lawyer’s Quick Answer Book

Answers to 97 Questions in 12 Areas of Employment Law

Edited by Robert C. Boisvert, Jr. & Penelope J. Phillips

Hiring and Screening Employees

  • What types of questions can employers ask and not ask job applicants?
  • What type of background searches may employers conduct and what are the limitations?
  • What restrictions apply to medical examinations and obtaining medical history during the hiring process?
  • What type of applicant screening or testing may employers conduct?
  • When do criminal history checks need to be conducted?
  • Can applicants be asked about disabilities and reasonable accommodations?

– Howard L. Bolter

The Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Who is covered by the FLSA?
  • Are volunteers, interns, and independent contractors covered by the FLSA?
  • What do the FLSA and state wage and hour laws require, in general terms?
  • Who is entitled to be paid the minimum wage and to receive overtime pay?
  • Who is exempt from overtime pay?
  • What does it mean to be paid “on a salary basis”?
  • If an hourly employee is eligible for overtime pay, how does an employer calculate the overtime rate?
  • How does an employer determine what is working time?
  • What records are required to be kept by employers to comply with the FLSA?
  • What are the recoverable damages in an FLSA case?

– E. Michelle Drake & Eleanor E. Frisch

Non-Competes and Trade Secrets

  • What are the requirements for a legally enforceable non-compete agreement?
  • What are the differences between a non-compete provision, a non-solicitation provision, and a confidentiality provision?
  • What is considered to be valid consideration?
  • Will Minnesota courts “blue pencil” a non-compete agreement?
  • If there is no non-compete agreement, or it is deemed unenforceable, does the former employer have other claims it can pursue against a departing employee?
  • What legal claims does a former employer have against the new employer that hires its former employee?
  • If a new employer wants to hire someone who has a non-compete agreement, what can/should it do to minimize its legal risks?

– Jeffrey B. Oberman

Title VII, Minnesota Human Rights Act, ADEA, and Discrimination

  • In Minnesota, what classes of applicants and employees are protected against employment discrimination?
  • What conduct is prohibited by anti-discrimination laws?
  • What is an employee required to do to initiate a cause of action for discrimination under local, state, and federal laws?
  • How much time does a Minnesota employee have to bring a claim of discrimination under Title VII, the MHRA, the ADA, and the ADEA?
  • What damages or remedies are available to employees who commence claims under Title VII, the MHRA, the ADA, or the ADEA?
  • How do courts analyze discrimination laws?

– Steven Andrew Smith

The Americans with Disabilities Act

  • In general terms, what do the American with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act require?
  • What employers are covered by the ADA and MHRA?
  • What is the definition of “disability” under the ADA and MHRA?
  • Are all medical limitations considered to be a disability?
  • How do the ADA and MHRA define a “major life activity”?
  • What does it mean to have a “substantial impairment” of a “major life activity”?
  • What are an employer’s obligations with respect to hiring and/or employing a person with a disability?
  • How does an employer determine what is a reasonable accommodation?
  • May an employer ask for medical documentation or for a medical examination when dealing with an employee who says he or she has a disability?
  • What are an employer’s defenses to a claim of failure to accommodate?
  • What happens if the employer is concerned that the employee is unsafe to work?

– Mary M. Krakow

Reasonable Accommodation Under Discrimination Laws

  • What is a covered employer’s reasonable accommodation obligation under anti-discrimination laws pertaining to disability, religion, and pregnancy?
  • Are applicants for jobs entitled to accommodations?
  • What triggers an employer’s obligations to reasonably accommodate?
  • What process must an employer undertake when it is on notice of a need or request for a reasonable accommodation?
  • What type of documentation or records can an employer request when considering a request forreasonable accommodation for a disability, for religion, and for pregnancy?
  • What are some examples of reasonable accommodations for disability, religion, and pregnancy?
  • When are employers not required to accommodate an employee?

– T.J. Conley

The Family and Medical Leave Act and Other Leave

  • What employers are covered by, and which employees are eligible to take leave under, the Family and Medical Leave Act?
  • For what purposes can an eligible employee take FMLA leave?
  • What is a “serious health condition”?
  • What are employee and employer FMLA notice requirements?
  • In what increments may an employee take FMLA leave?
  • What are an employee’s protected rights under the FMLA?
  • What actions that an employer takes may be seen as either “interfering” with an employee’s FMLA rights or retaliating unlawfully against an employee for taking leave?
  • Is FMLA leave paid or unpaid?

– Penelope J. Phillips & Meggen E. Lindsay

Discipline and Termination

  • What is employment at-will?
  • What are the exceptions to employment at-will?
  • Why and how should an employer document?
  • If a Minnesota employer is doing a reduction in force or mass termination, are there any special legal requirements?
  • Should an employer give the employee a written explanation of the reasons for termination?
  • Are Minnesota employers required to offer severance pay and benefits to a terminated employee?
  • Can employment claims be released and, if so, how?

– Robert C. Boisvert, Jr.

Unlawful Harassment in the Workplace

  • What is the definition of “unlawful harassment”?
  • How does one determine what constitutes “severe or pervasive” or whether conduct is “unwelcome”?
  • Is the standard for determining unlawful harassment objective or subjective?
  • When is a company liable for unlawful harassment?
  • Is the standard of liability different when the harasser is a supervisor as opposed to a co-worker?
  • Who is considered to be a “supervisor” under the law?
  • What is a “tangible employment action”?
  • What are an employer’s defenses to a claim of unlawful harassment?
  • What are key elements of a good anti-harassment policy?

– Leonard B. Segal

Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims

  • What does it mean to have a whistleblower claim?
  • Are there differences between whistleblowing, retaliation, and “wrongful discharge” claims?
  • What types of conduct does the Minnesota Whistleblower Act protect?
  • What are the basic elements of a legal claim under the MWA?
  • How has the 2013 amendment to the MWA changed the law?
  • What are common defenses to an MWA claim?
  • What are the remedies under the MWA if an employee proves a violation of the statute?
  • Are there federal laws protecting whistleblowers?
  • Are the basic elements of a retaliation claim the same as a whistleblower claim?
  • Is it illegal retaliation if the employer would have taken the same adverse action against the employee even if the employee had not engaged in the protected activity?

– John D. Thompson

The National Labor Relations Act

  • What employers are covered by the National Labor Relations Act?
  • Does the NLRA apply in a non-union workplace?
  • What types of workplace policies and practices can run afoul of the NLRA?
  • Is it unlawful to retaliate or discriminate against an employee who supports a union, engages in union activities, or participates in an NLRB case?
  • Do employees have the right under the NLRA to engage in other concerted activities for mutual aid and protection?
  • What is the process by which employees become represented by a labor organization?
  • Is there a process for employees to remove their union, or to change the identity of the union that represents them?
  • Is it lawful for an employer and a union to agree that employees must pay union dues or fees as a condition of continued employment with the employer?
  • If an employer purchases a unionized company, or if an employer obtains a service contract that had been performed by a unionized vendor, what obligation does the employer have to recognize and bargain with the union that represented the employees of the previous employer?

– Thomas R. Trachsel

Employment Conditions

  • What are an employer’s workers’ compensation obligations when an employee becomes ill or injured at work?
  • When a Minnesota employment relationship ends, what payments are owed to the employee, when are they due, and when may an employer deduct from final pay?
  • What leaves are available to employees under Minnesota law?
  • If a Minnesota employer wants to test an applicant or employee for drugs or alcohol use, what steps do they need to take?
  • When an employee or former employee requests to review their personnel file, what must an employer do to comply with Minnesota law?
  • What privacy rights does an employee have in the workplace (e.g., emails, medical information, and other personal information)?
  • What kinds of deductions can be taken from an employee’s paycheck?

– Chris D. Jozwiak


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