Military Leave Law

December 20, 2009  |  Scott M. Lepak

The federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act was enacted into law on October 13, 1994. This law clarifies and expands upon the Veterans’ Reemployment Rights Act. It provides that an individual has the right to return to work following a leave for uniformed service. In order to be entitled to reemployment: 1) the employer must receive notice of the impending service from the employee or uniformed service; 2) such service leave may not exceed five years (subject to some exceptions which allow for a longer service leave); and 3) the individual must report or reapply to the employer in a timely manner following the service. What is considered a timely reporting or reapplication depends upon the length of the leave and whether the individual has been injured or has incurred an illness while in the uniformed service. Upon returning from a leave of at least 30 days but less than 180 days, an employee may not be discharged without just cause for a period of 180 days. If the leave was greater than 180 days, the returning employee may not be discharged without just cause for one year. Seniority-related benefits decisions must take into account and include the period of time that an employee is on such military leave. This type of…

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Non-compete Agreements

December 20, 2009  |  Joan M. Quade

Non-compete Agreements By Joan M. Quade There are many misconceptions about non-compete agreements. Some employers and employees alike believe they are simply unenforceable. Other employees believe they are enforceable and must be signed no matter how broad. Neither position is correct. A non-compete agreement can be enforced against a former employee if there is proper consideration for the entry into the agreement at the appropriate time, and the agreement is reasonable in its nature, length and geographic scope. The agreement can also be enforced under the theory of intentional interference with contractual relations against subsequent employers if they hire an employee bound by such an agreement and one can show that they had actual knowledge of the agreement prior to hiring the employee. A non-compete agreement can be found in an employment contract or it can be entered into as a separate agreement. A non-compete agreement controls the employee’s action after the employment relationship has been terminated. It is an enforceable promise by the employee to not compete with the employer on specific terms, for a specified period of time, usually within a specific geographical area. The purpose, from the employer’s perspective, is to prevent unfair competition and to protect an employers’ “good will”. The “good will” of a business is an asset…

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Minnesota Sexual Harassment Statute: Its History and the law (Part II)

December 20, 2009  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

In the last issue of IN BRIEF, we published Part I which discussed the history of Minnesota’s Sexual Harassment Statute. Part II will be a discussion of the evidence necessary to prove a sexual harassment claim given a recent change in Minnesota law. While describing the evidence, cases are cited to support this article. Cites will be listed at the end of the article for those who may want to do legal research. A Plaintiff has the ultimate burden of proving that she suffered sexual harassment.1 Prior to the 2001 regular session of the Minnesota legislature in order to prove his case, Plaintiff had to establish: 1. plaintiff is a member of a protected group; 2. Plaintiff was subject to unwelcome sexual harassment; 3. the harassment affected a term, condition or privilege of employment; and 4. the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take proper remedial action. 2 In 2001 the legislature amended section 363.01, subd. 41 to remove the fourth element that “the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and fails to take timely and appropriate action.” The removal of this language was not intended to create strict liability (ie. that is the employer is liable automatically if an employee harasses) rather, the…

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