LABOR LAW FAQs

This is probably okay. However, it should be conducted after the offer of employment has been made, and to let the new hire know that it is required as a condition of the offer.
Employee “at-will”employment means that an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason, without the need to establish just cause for termination, and without warning. From an employee standpoint they may also be entitled to leave his or her job without reason or warning. MN is an “at will” state.
While you cannot require a new hire to sign a non-compete agreement, you can terminate the existing employee or choose not to hire the new employee if they refuse to sign a non-compete agreement.

Maybe. It depends on several factors, including your policy regarding absences and continued employment and the laws in your state.

This depends on several factors. For instance, reasons for offering different benefits to different employees could include full-time vs. part-time status, exempt vs. nonexempt or geographic location. If you have a union, these employees may also have different benefits than a non-union employee.
If you were sent the request by the DOL, then you are required to develop and submit your plan to them by their deadline.
Probably. Courts have found that employers were liable for sexual harassment regardless of whether the employer knew, or should have known, about the harassment. However, the harassed employee has a duty to use the procedure that the employer has put in place to file a complaint about workplace harassment. This is why it is critical to have clear policies and procedures in place. Our advisors can assist you in writing these policies to help protect your organization in these situations. Harassment training and prompt investigation of these complaints are a good defense should a charge be filed or a civil suit arises.
It depends on the state(s) in which you operate. The Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law states that all employers are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance or become self-insured. Employees are generally defined as people performing services for another, for hire, including minors and workers who are not citizens.
To qualify for FMLA, the employee must meet the following conditions:
1. The employee must have been employed with the company for 12 months (which do not have to be consecutive).
2. The employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins.
3. The employer is a covered employer (one that employs 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius of the work-site).

For more information on FMLA, go to this link: https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/finalrule/NonMilitaryFAQs.htm

The Department of Labor last updated their FMLA forms in June 2015, and they are valid until 2018. These include the Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s and Family Member’s Serious Health Condition, Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities, Designation Notice, Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave, and the Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Covered Service member and Veteran. These forms can be downloaded from the DOL’s website.
Employers are not required to pay for meal breaks as long as the break is at least 30 minutes and the employee is free to leave their work area and does not have to perform any work. However, an exception may occur for example, if an employee is eating at their desk and answering a call or two during their meal period, that time would be considered time working and they should be paid.
It depends. Federal law states that nonexempt employees must only be paid for time actually worked, so holiday pay is not required; therefore, nonexempt employees may request to use PTO to cover the closure. Exempt employees must be paid their regular salary, so employers cannot “dock” their pay when the business is closed for less than one week. If your company is closing for two days to observe the 4th of July holiday, you would be required to pay all of your exempt employees for that full week. However, if they took additional time you can force exempt employees to use PTO to cover the closure.
The top three most common types of complaints filed, in order of most common, are retaliation for making a discrimination complaint, racial discrimination, and sex discrimination.
Nonexempt employees must be paid for all hours of the day when they are performing duties of their work, day or night, even when they are technically off the clock. To avoid trouble with labor laws, employers should set a clear policy on email usage for nonexempt staff when they are not working.
According to the Minnesota Department of Labor, employers cannot require an employee to set up direct deposit to receive their earnings. If an employee refuses to set up direct deposit, the employer must pay the employee earnings via a check or cash.
According to MN Department of Labor, if an employer terminates an employee, the employee’s paycheck is to be issued within 24 hours of the employee’s demand for wages. If an employee resigns, wages are due within the next pay period that is more than five days after quitting, but wages must be paid within 20 days of separation. In addition, if the employer has a “required” notice period policy, then most states will view this as an implied contract and require the employer to pay out the notice period when an employee resigns and is asked to leave prior to the two week notice. If the employer does not require, but instead requests, a two-weeks’ resignation notice, then employers are not required to pay for the two-weeks’ notice period.
The obligation to designate leave as FMLA is with the employer, not the employee. The employee cannot decide when they want their time off to be considered FMLA leave, even if they have other paid leave available to them. Once it is determined that the employee qualifies for FMLA leave, the employer should immediately start the FMLA process and notify the employee that their leave is being designated as FMLA and that the FMLA leave will run concurrently with the paid sick leave. By doing so, the employer “starts the clock” on the FMLA and any time the employee needs to take above and beyond what their available paid time off covers will be unpaid FMLA leave. Employers should ensure they have an updated policy that requires employees to use all their available paid time off (sick, vacation, personal) concurrently with FMLA.
A request for a background check and drug screen cannot be required of a candidate(s) until the employer has offered the position to the candidate. However, the employer can let the candidate know that the offer is contingent upon successfully passing the background and drug test. We highly recommend that employees use a reputable third party to conduct the background checks and to coordinate the drug screening. This will protect from violating federal and state laws and ensure that you are compliant and consistent in this process. Our advisors can definitely take on this responsibility for you.

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