Category: Employment Law

Nursing Mother/Lactating Employees and Pregnancy Accommodation in Minnesota

June 12, 2023  |  Toni Perrier

An Update on the 2023 Changes to the Law By Scott Lepak and Katherine Bogart The 2023 Minnesota legislature amended the prior nursing mother and pregnancy accommodation statute to provide broader protections and clarifications.  The law is at at Article 11, Section 27.  It will go into effect on July 1, 2023.       Nursing Mothers/Lactating Employees Among the changes to the law, it now requires employers to provide reasonable break times to an employee who needs to express milk.  The prior requirement that the employee be expressing breast milk for her infant child has been removed.  The twelve month limitation following the birth of the child that was in the law has also been removed.  A practical effect of this change is that employees expressing milk in order to sell or donate it are now permitted to take breaks for this purpose. The law also removes the prior exception where an employer could deny break times where it would unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.  With this revision in the law, it appears that employer hardship is no longer a defense for employers under the law.  The law adds the requirement that the employer make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location that is clean, private and secure.  The…

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Is Your Employment Lawyer Readily Accessible?

October 6, 2021  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

Employment law has never been more complicated than it is right now. Every termination, request for leave, on-the-job injury, interview, offer of employment, and complaint has its own set of landmines for employers. Regardless of company size and number of employees, being an employer and navigating the complex world of employment law has become a real challenge. Employers, and even their skilled human resources teams, sometimes need legal advice and opinions to avoid potential costly mistakes in handling employee issues. Continue reading to learn more about my experience with employment lawyer accessibility. I represent a wide variety of employers, ranging in size from thousands to only a handful, and everything in between. The one thing they have in common is that if they employ people, they will need sound, practical legal advice at some point. Many employers need advice regularly because of the complexity of the issues while making employment decisions.   Employment advice and consultations are all about controlling the risk while making the best decision for the company. For example, most employees in the State of Minnesota are “employees at will.” This means they can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. But that is not where the analysis ends, because even employees who are “at will” cannot be fired for a discriminatory…

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Business Owners: Think Twice Before Gifting Stock to Employees

September 24, 2021  |  Carole Clark Isakson

I receive regular calls from small business owners that want to show appreciation to their hardworking employees by gifting shares in the company.  Sometimes, the goal is to incentivize an employee to work harder and in other cases, the employer hopes to keep the employee long-term and feels the gift will help with this. I generally dissuade these owners from share transfers and suggest other ways to bonus employees based on profits. Why? Because an owner of shares, no matter how small, has rights in the company that can cause issues for the well-meaning employer. Minority shareholders in Minnesota have a variety of rights. For instance, minority shareholders in privately held corporations have the right to request and examine the share register, the records of all shareholders, and board proceedings over the past three years. This includes all articles, amendments, bylaws currently in effect, certain financial statements, reports made to shareholders within the last three years, names and business addresses of all directors and principal officers, voting trust agreements, shareholder control agreements, and other types of agreements. While providing these documents may not be difficult, many employers would rather not share this information. When an employee comes to their employer, and owns a share in the company, this information must be provided. In…

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