Employment Law

Enforcing Your Employment Rights

Minnesota is an at-will employment state, but that doesn't mean you don't have rights. Your employer still has to pay your for your time and make sure you have a safe and harassment-free workplace. If any of your rights in the workplace are violated or you have been wrongfully discharged, call us to set up a free, no-hassle consultation.

Your Wages And Statements

Your employer has to pay you at least the minimum wage for all hours your employer requires you to work, including preparation time, on-the-job training, opening and closing times, and required meetings. The minimum wage you should earn depends on whether your employer is large or small, and whether it is subject to federal minimum wage standards.

As of May, 2011, the minimum wage is:

With a few exceptions, your employer may not deduct money from your paycheck for breakages, cash shortages, tools or work uniforms. Additionally, each time you are paid, you must receive a statement listing all deductions, such as taxes, from your earnings.

Keep accurate records of the hours you worked. It is important if a dispute comes up that you have your own copies of your hours worked. You do not want to have to depend on your employer's records if you feel that your employment rights have been violated. If you feel your pay is incorrect, you should contact an attorney.

Break Time At Work

Rest breaks are not required; however, you must be allowed time to use the nearest restroom once every four consecutive hours worked. Every eight hours, you must be allowed sufficient time to eat a meal.

Your Employer Must Pay You Overtime

Your employer must pay one-and-one-half times your regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked. Overtime hours do not necessarily mean more than eight hours in a day. You should contact an attorney if you believe you are entitled to overtime pay.

Harassment and Discrimination

Your employer must provide a work environment free from racial, sexual and religious harassment. Your employer is responsible not only for the actions of managers and supervisors, but in some cases, for the actions of your co-workers if there is significant harassment they refuse to stop. It is important, if you feel you are being harassed or discriminated against, it is very important that you document this harassment to your employer. Make sure you make a formal, written complaint with the details of the problem. If you still have problems at work, contact an attorney.

Unemployment Benefits

If your employment ends or your work hours are reduced, you may apply for unemployment benefits online or by using the automated phone option at (651) 296-3644.

Sometimes when you apply for unemployment benefits, however, your benefits are denied by the agency. If you feel that your unemployment benefits have been unfairly denied, you should contact an attorney.

Wrongful Termination

Minnesota is an "employment at will" state, which means that in most circumstances, your employment can be terminated at any time for any reason. However, if you have an employment contract, your employer has to abide by the terms of that contract. Additionally, even if you are an employee at will, there are some reasons employers are not allowed to terminate an employee (such as discriminatory reasons). If you feel you have been wrongfully fired, you should contact an attorney.

Information is power. Be heard.

About Our Attorneys

Michael Kemp is an attorney with experience in criminal law, landlord and tenant law, and business litigation, and has won awards for his trial and appellate skills. Now he will put those same skills to work for you.

T.J. Streff is an attorney with experience in labor and employment law, and has worked as an advocate for our teachers here in the Twin Cities. Now he will be an advocate for you.

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