Category Archives: Events

No Employee Defections on the Day of Elections

All Minnesota Employers are statutorily obligated to provide employees, “the right to be absent from work for the time necessary to appear at the employee’s polling place, cast a ballot and return to work” without a pay or PTO deduction or any direct or indirect interference.  Minn. Stat. §204C.04. This applies to any time of day and to exempt and non-exempt employees scheduled to work during the time the polls are open. Violation is a misdemeanor.

Is this potentially a citizen’s “senior skip day?” No. The statute rests on a rule of reasonableness regarding the scheduling of time off, and the amount of time off. The employer has the right to be told when the employee will be gone and ask that absences be coordinated (but can’t so require). An employee who just doesn’t show up for work on November 7th can’t count on a statutory free pass.

How can an employer handle a suspected abuse? Preemptive, pro-active measures are likely not the best path to follow since warning and rules could well look to be prohibited indirect attempts to thwart the statutory time-off requirement. But after-the-fact, carefully handled individual investigations of suspected abuse can be consistent with the statute and its rule of reasonableness. The previous version of the statute allowed for the morning off and that may be a reasonable rule of thumb.

Takeaway:  An employer suspecting employee abuse, especially wide-spread abuse, of the paid time off to vote statute can, after the fact, determine if the employee(s) actually complied with the statutory rule of reasonableness. But proceed cautiously given the statute’s prohibition against indirect interference. Advice of legal counsel would be particularly helpful when the employer seeks to make sure election day doesn’t become defection day.

May 5, 2015 Presentation – Safeguarding Employers In 2015

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, attorneys from Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2015 – Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law.” The seminar will occur from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at Windows on Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for. There is no charge to attend.

The agenda for the presentation will be as follows:

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. – Welcome

8:10 a.m. to 8:40 a.m. – Legislative and Case Update: This session provides an update on legislative activity and court cases that impact the employer-employee relationship. It will cover developments ranging from the passage of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Act to employment discrimination cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Pending Minnesota legislation will also be discussed. Presenters: Michael Miller, Danielle Fitzsimmons, and Emily Peterson.

8:40 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. – Labor Law and Why it Matters to Both Union and Non-Union Companies: This session covers new union election procedures, continued attacks on employer handbooks and policies, new case law requiring an employer to allow employees to use employer e-mail for union organizing purposes and a whole host of other issues from the NLRB that continue to make life increasingly difficult for employers. We will also review recent labor law developments that apply to both union and non-union employers and offer practical tips to stay out of hot water with the NLRB. Presenters: Michael Moberg and Michael Wilhelm.

9:20 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Security Issues for Employers: Do You Know Where Your Data Is? This session focuses on understanding the risks involved in data breach of various kinds of data and methods to minimize that risk as well as some tips for approaching the matter when data has been lost or misappropriated. Presenters: Heidi Fessler and Daniel Supalla.

10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Break

10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – The Eight Steps of Highly Effective Workplace Investigations: This session is an overview of the key steps in conducting a workplace investigation: deciding whether to investigate, planning the investigation, implementing the plan, evaluating the information, presenting the findings, making recommendations, closing the loop and documenting the process. Presenters: Ellen Brinkman, Ann Huntrods, and Sally Scoggin.

11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. – Challenges and Opportunities in Rapid Demographic Change: This session highlights the unprecedented global demographic changes that are occurring and affect business everywhere. While most attention focuses on aging and its impact on government programs, the more immediate and direct impact of aging and other demographic changes is in the labor market. Former Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy will focus on the key local, national, and global demographic trends that affect the labor market and their economic implications for Minnesota employers. Presenter: Tom Gillaspy, Former Minnesota State Demographer.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Lunch

Please RSVP: Space for the seminar is limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP soon by clicking here.

Save the Date – Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law Seminar on May 5, 2015

On Tuesday May 5, 2015, attorneys from Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2015 – Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law.” The seminar will occur from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at Windows on Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis, and will be followed by a lunch.  The seminar will also feature a presentation from Tom Gillaspy, former Minnesota state demographer.  CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for.  There is no charge to attend.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP online by clicking here.  Additional details about speakers and topics will be announced soon.

Briggs 2014 Client Seminar – Thank You

Thanks to the over 100 busy professionals who spent a half-day with your Briggs Employment, Benefit and Labor Team in the 2014 “Safeguarding the Employer” client seminar held on April 10th.  And a special call-out to our guest speaker Brian McClung of McClung Communications and Public Relations for his presentation on crisis management.

The seminar covered the following topics:

  • “Legislative Overview for 2013 and 2014”
  • “The NLRB is Back At Full Strength – And Employers Should Be Concerned”
  • “Introducing the Elephant in the Room: How Discovery Impacts You”
  • “Employee Benefits Update”
  • “The ADAAA Aftermath” (including our Temporary Disability Chart)
  • “Communicating Effectively in a Crisis”

If you weren’t able to make the seminar this year but would like the materials, please let Dena Edmiston know at 612-977-8581 or dedmiston@briggs.com or contact a Briggs attorney in the Employment, Benefits and Labor section (for contact info, click here).

We’ll be presenting again in 2015 and, of course, we are at your service in the meantime.

Neal Buethe, Section Head

Briggs and Morgan’s Employment, Benefits and Labor Law section

Reminder – April 10, 2014 Presentation: Safeguarding Employers in 2014

On April 10, 2014, employers from the Employment, Benefits, and Labor Section at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2014 – Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law” at Windows on Minnesota in the IDS Center in Downtown Minneapolis.  A description of the topics that will be covered at the presentation is available here.

The presentation is free to attend.  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for.

It’s not too late to register to attend the presentation.  If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Dena Edmiston at (612) 977-8581 or dedmiston@briggs.com.

April 10, 2014 Presentation – Safeguarding Employers in 2014

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, attorneys from Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2014 – Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law.” The seminar will occur from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Windows on Minnesota in the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis.  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for.  There is no charge to attend.

The agenda for the presentation will be as follows:

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. – Welcome

8:10 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. – Legislative Overview:  Changes in Minnesota employment statutes that took effect in 2013 and proposed legislation for 2014.  Presenters:  Britt Gilbertson and Danielle Fitzsimmons.

8:45 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. – The NLRB is Back at Full Strength – and Employers Should be Concerned:  Newly proposed union election rules, greater scrutiny of discipline for employee social media use, restrictions on employee use of company e-mail, and employee handbook policies are just a few of the many obstacles constructed by the NLRB in 2014.  We will discuss these issues and more to offer practical tips on how to avoid problems with the NLRB.  Presenters:  Michael Moberg and Michael Wilhelm.

9:25 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. – Introducing the Elephant in the Room: How eDiscovery Impacts You:  Hear the basics of eDiscovery and how it impacts human resources in litigation.  Also, learn good risk management steps that can be followed to avoid problems—and sanctions—when a claim is made, as well as steps to be taken when notice of a claim is received.  Presenter:  John Degnan.

9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Break

10:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. – Employee Benefits Update:  The world of employee benefits continues to change and employers must continue to change with it, or risk significant penalties for noncompliance.  Learn some of the most significant changes and what you need to do avoid penalties or adverse tax consequences.  Presenter:  Steve Brunn.

10:20 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – The ADAAA Aftermath:  The ADA Amendments Act and its related EEOC regulations accomplished their intended purpose of expanding disability discrimination claims.  We will review case law trends developed in the wake of those amendments and suggest how to avoid becoming another EEOC statistic.  Presenters:  Michael Miller and Sally Scoggin.

11:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. – Crisis Management 101: What to do When the 60 Minutes Reporters Come Calling:  Every business will eventually face an organizational crisis. Whether it is the discovery of an inappropriate relationship between a member of the executive team and a coworker, a workplace tragedy, or a media frenzy over a corporate misstep, you need to have a plan in place to deal with it. This presentation will give you a crisis management playbook, so that you are not caught flat-footed and make a bad situation worse.  Presenters:  Ann Huntrods, Greg Stenmoe, and Brian McClung, McClung Communications & Public Relations, LLC.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lunch

Please RSVP:  If you are interested in attending, please contact Dena Edmiston at (612) 977-8581 or dedmiston@briggs.com.

Save the Date – Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law Seminar on April 10, 2014

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, attorneys from Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2014 – Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law.” The seminar will occur from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Windows on Minnesota in the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis, and will be followed by a lunch.  CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for.  There is no charge to attend.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Dena Edmiston at (612) 977-8581 or dedmiston@briggs.com.  Additional details about speakers and topics will be announced soon.

Webinar: Defending Director and Officer Non-Compete Disputes

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, at 11 a.m. CST / Noon EST, David Schooler will co-present a webinar entitled “Defending D & O Non-Compete Disputes” through the Professional Liability Attorney Network (PLAN).  The webinar is free of charge, and anyone can register.  Requests for continuing legal education and continuing education accreditation credits are pending for live viewing of the webinar.

To register for the webinar, click here.

Briggs Employment Lawyers to Present at the 2013 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute

The 2013 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute is being held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on May 20 & 21, 2013.  We are pleased to announce that three lawyers from our Employment, Benefits and Labor Section at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will presenting this year as follows:

  • Steve Brunn – “What Do Employers Small and Large Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act?” on May 21 at 11:45.
  • Ann Huntrods – “Mentally Ill and Chemically Dependent Employees: Answers to Pressing Questions” on May 21 at 2:45.
  • Greg Stenmoe – “Employees With Personality Disorders: Management and Litigation Risks” on May 21 at 11:45.

A copy of the seminar brochure is available here.  Several of our other Employment, Benefits, and Labor lawyers will also be at the seminar.  We hope that you can attend and that we see you there.

Reminder – April 9, 2013 Presentation: Safeguarding Employers in 2013

On April 9, 2013, employers from the Employment, Benefits, and Labor Section at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2013:  Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law” at Windows on Minnesota in the IDS Center in Downtown Minneapolis.  A description of the topics that will be covered at the presentation is available here.  A copy of the invitation is available here.

The presentation is free to attend.  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for.

It’s not too late to register to attend the presentation.  If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Dena at rsvp@briggs.com.

April 9, 2013 Presentation – Safeguarding Employers in 2013

On April 9, 2013, employers from the Employment, Benefits, and Labor Section at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. will present “Safeguarding Employers in 2013:  Changes in Employment, Benefits, and Labor Law” at Windows on Minnesota in the IDS Center in Downtown Minneapolis.  The presentation is free to attend.  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  CLE and HRCI credits will be applied for.

The agenda for the presentation will be as follows:

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. – Welcome

8:10 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. – Don’t Get Tripped Up by Federal Labor Law:  Over the past year, the current labor board has issued a number of decisions that specifically limit the right of non-union employers in their ability to manage their employees. Learn how to avoid the most recent pitfalls created by the NLRB that impact both union and non-union employers.  Presenters:  Michael Moberg and Michael Wilhelm.

8:50 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – HIPAA Enforcement Efforts On the Rise:  What You Need to Know to Protect Your Company:  The number and severity of penalties being assessed for HIPAA privacy and security violations are increasing at an alarming rate. We will review recent HIPAA privacy and security guidance, and what employers and business associates need to do to protect against potential penalty assessments.  Presenters:  Steve Brunn and Ira Friedrich.

9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. – Break

9:45 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. – You’ve Got a Secret – Protecting Your Company’s Intellectual Property:  You’ve invested tremendous resources into developing, manufacturing, and marketing your products and ideas. Your workforce is well aware of the ideas that have made you successful. How do you protect your investment? What role do non-compete and confidentiality agreements, copyrights and patents play in the workplace? What are the limitations of each and how do you structure and implement them with your workforce and vendors? We’ll discuss these issues and more.  Presenters:  Sally Scoggin, Andrea Bond, and Dan Rosenberg.

10:20 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. – Terrible, Rotten, No Good, Very Bad FMLA Issues

We’ve all had to deal with them and they challenge our wits and patience. We will review vexing FMLA issues that have repeatedly crossed our threshold, and through hypotheticals, offer practical tips on how to avoid having a bad FMLA day become a worse one.  Presenters:  Michael Miller and Ann Huntrods.

10:55 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. – The Impact of Electronic Evidence on Employment Litigation

Computers have dramatically changed the way employers investigate and defend employment litigation.  We will address the benefits of and the burdens imposed by electronic evidence, how information can be recovered from computers even though it has been “deleted,” and we will discuss options for preserving electronic information.  This session will also focus on non-traditional evidence sources, such as the iPhone, iPad and social media.  Presenters:  David Schooler and Mark Lanterman, CEO and Chief Technology Officer of Computer Forensic Services, Inc.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Lunch

Please RSVP:  If you are interested in attending the presentation, please contact Dena at rsvp@briggs.com.

Follow MinnesotaEmployer.com On Twitter

MinnesotaEmployer.com recently launched a Twitter account, @mnemployer.  You can access the Twitter feed here.  The Twitter account provides another way that readers can follow MinnesotaEmployer.com, in addition to email subscriptions and RSS.  If you use Twitter, check it out.