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Can My Employer Fire Me if I Fail a Drug Test?

Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA) governs drug testing for employees. Employers may not require drug or alcohol testing unless such testing is completed under a written drug and alcohol testing policy that contains certain information required by law.[1] The testing must also be completed only by a qualified laboratory.[2] If […]

Can My Employer Fire Me for Reporting Violations of Law?

The Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA) protects employees who report illegal activity, or “blow the whistle,” at work. The MWA prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, threatening, discriminating against, or penalizing an employee in relation to compensation or the terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment because an employee reported illegal activity.[1] You are protected under the […]

Can I Request My Personnel Record from My Employer?

Under Minnesota law, if an employee makes a written request to their employer, the employer must provide the employee with the opportunity to review their personnel record.[1] However, the employer is not required to provide an opportunity for the employee to review their personnel record if the employee has reviewed their file within the previous […]

Brian Rochel Selected to Serve Three-Year Term on Minnesota NELA Board

Brian Rochel has been selected to serve as a Board member on the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association (MN-NELA). MN-NELA is a highly-respected organization of lawyers who are dedicated to advancing the rights of workers by providing information, education, and advocacy on behalf of employees. MN-NELA works to advance employee rights by influencing […]

President Biden’s New Vaccine Mandate—What It Means for Employees

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order with new vaccine mandates covering millions of employees. Here are several ways the new regulations impact employees. Who Is Covered? All federal employees; All federal contractors; All employees of employers who employee 100 or more employees; Nearly all employees who are healthcare workers at […]

How Do I Know If I Can Request FMLA Leave?

Employees may request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have 1,250 hours of service in the previous 12 months. In addition, the employer must have at least 50 employees employed within 75 […]

Can my Employer Force Me to Break the Law?

The Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA) protects employees who report illegal activity, or “blow the whistle,” at work. The MWA is also designed to deter employers from retaliating against employees who follow the law. The MWA prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, threatening, discriminating against, or penalizing an employee because an employee refused to break the law, […]

What is a reasonable accommodation for a disability and how can I request it from my employer?

Working with a disability does not have to be stressful. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. A qualified individual with a disability is someone who fulfills what the position is requiring of an applicant, for example: skill set, experience, education, […]

Minnesota Supreme Court Holds that Employment Handbooks May Create Contractual Rights, Even When They Claim Not To

Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of employees. In an important ruling, the Court held that employers who use blanket language stating that an employee handbook is “not a contract” do not necessarily prevent employees from bringing valid claims for breaching a contract. The case, Donald Hall v. City of Plainview, reiterated prior […]

Phillip Kitzer Presents on COVID-19 Employment Issues to Minnesota Lawyers

On December 8, 2020, Phillip Kitzer presented “COVID-19: A Plaintiffs’ Employment Attorney’s Perspective” to the Minnesota chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association along with Elizabeth Binczik, attorney at Fabian May & Anderson, PLLP. The program covered a variety of employment issues that arise for Minnesota employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether working from home […]