Category: Employment Law

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules on Workplace Handbook Policies

April 16, 2021  |  Scott M. Lepak

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently announced two important holdings in Hall v. City of Plainview regarding workplace handbook policies. First, the Court determined that general disclaimers in employee handbooks (generally at the front of personnel handbooks or manuals) do not automatically apply to all provisions within the handbook, including compensation and severance policies. The second ruling was that the state law providing a penalty for failure to pay wages promptly did not create an automatic right to paid time off (PTO) on its own absent a binding contract present. Read on as we discuss the specifics of the Minnesota Supreme Court rulings on workplace handbook policies. Background Facts In 2017, the City of Plainview terminated an employee who had accrued unused PTO throughout 30 years of work. When the employee was terminated, the City refused to pay him the accrued PTO, citing the employee handbook. The City claimed he had not given “sufficient notice” per a policy in their handbook. This employment handbook also contained a disclaimer stating that the provisions within it “should not be construed as contract terms” and that it was “not intended to create an express or implied contract of employment between the City of Plainview and an employee.” The employee sued the City for breach of contract, stating…

Read More

Scott Lepak Named to the Public Employment Relations Board

November 19, 2020  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. is pleased to announce that Governor Walz has appointed shareholder Scott Lepak to serve on the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Scott will serve as the alternate public employer’s representative. The Board is the body charged with addressing unfair labor practice charges under the public sector labor relations law. This Board was originally active from 1971 to 1991 and was recreated in 2014.  Scott is a shareholder in our labor and employment section. He has been working in this area for well over 30 years. Scott noted that he appeared before this Board as an advocate during its original mission. He is delighted to now serve in this new capacity. He also pointed out, in response to numerous questions from public employer clients, that he will continue to represent public sector employer and municipal clients.  “This is very much a less than part time gig,” Scott said. “We needed another representative to get cases processed when the regular public sector board member had a conflict or was unavailable. I am excited to join the well-regarded members of this Board when needed as an alternate.”  Congratulations, Scott, on your appointment to the Minnesota Public Employment Relations Board. Scott M. Lepak has represented employers on labor and employment matters in…

Read More

Scott Lepak to Present on Police Arbitration Reform to Minnesota State Bar

November 12, 2020  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

On Friday, November 20, Barna, Guzy & Steffen attorney, Scott Lepak, will co-present a one-hour program on the practical impacts of the new Minnesota Police Accountability Act in the arbitration process. The program, which is sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a part of continuing legal education, will be held online beginning at noon. Lepak, who is also the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services, will discuss how the legislative changes are impacting the agency, how they select the panel of arbitrators, and the rulemaking needed for the process. Immediately following the main presentation, Scott, along with attorney/labor union arbitration specialist Gregg Corwin, will share strategies for advising clients in this area, as well as examine the questions that are left unanswered in the wake of these changes. Both presenters are experts in legal arbitration and will offer insights on what to expect from this new process. To reserve your spot, visit https://www.mnbar.org/members/cle-events/event?EventID=4256 The deadline to register is 2pm on Thursday, November 19. Barna, Guzy & Steffen has an outstanding team of labor law professionals available to talk to you about your specific needs. Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Read More