Can an essential worker self-quarantine and refuse to come to work because they are afraid of contracting the virus?
Employment & Labor
Our Employment & Labor Group helps employers keep pace with the changing workplace to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. When problems occur, we defend or institute lawsuits and administrative actions, using mediation and arbitration as appropriate to quickly resolve disputes.
Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota Employment Law Guide
Published each fall, this Guide helps Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota employers understand the federal and state employment laws which impact their businesses.
Learn More or Order Guide
What We Do
We have more than a dozen experienced employment attorneys who are available to help clients resolve their day-to-day and most difficult employee issues. We work with employers of all sizes in virtually every industry to find effective solutions to workplace problems.
Employment Advice & Prevention
Our lawyers provide practical, knowledgeable advice on questions regarding areas such as:
- Disability accommodation
- Family and Medical Leave
- Substance abuse
Our attorneys help employers:
- Investigate harassment and other complaints
- Comply with wage and hour requirements
- Meet OSHA standards
- Implement needed layoffs and reductions-in-force
Our attorneys draft and review the full spectrum of employment agreements and policies:
- Employment applications and other forms
- Employee and personnel policies, handbooks, and manuals
- Employment contracts, and non-compete and non-solicitation agreements
- Federal, state, and city affirmative action programs
- Drug and alcohol testing policies
Our attorneys partner with HR professionals to counsel and train managers and supervisors on how to comply with the myriad federal and state employment laws and still operate their businesses effectively and efficiently.
Litigating for Employers
Our employment and labor attorneys are skilled and aggressive litigators.
We represent clients in the full range of employment-related litigation matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of employment or non-competition agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, defamation, tortious interference with contract and wrongful discharge.
We litigate in federal and state trial and appellate courts in Minnesota and around the country. We also regularly represent clients before the full spectrum of federal, state and local agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and in state human rights agencies throughout the country.
Throughout the litigation process, we work closely with our clients to ensure their interests are protected and their goals achieved.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
We also support alternative dispute resolution. We act both as neutrals helping other parties to resolve their disputes, and as advocates assisting our clients reach timely and effective solutions. We are experienced in mediation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution.
News & Articles
Claiming the Credit: IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits under Families First Coronavirus Response Act
April 3, 2020
How are the leave payments taxed to the employee? What costs can be recouped through tax credits? How does an eligible employer claim the tax credit?
What Employers Need to Know About the New DOL Temporary Rule Implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
April 3, 2020
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued temporary regulations implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The temporary regulations – expiring on December 31, 2020 – clarify some of the statute’s ambiguities and formalize certain DOL commentary set forth in the Q&As issued to date concerning the FFCRA, but the puzzle of this statute is far from solved. Here, we focus on some of the key areas addressed in the regulations and also on a number of open questions employers still face.
April 3, 2020
Under what circumstances may a small employer who employs fewer than 50 employees be exempt from the leave provisions under the FFCRA?
April 2, 2020
What is the difference between a furlough and a layoff and how do we know which term to use?
April 1, 2020
What is the process for obtaining the tax credit for COVID-19 related leave paid under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?
March 31, 2020
I am a covered federal contractor/subcontractor subject to the various federal affirmative action laws. I heard there is an exemption from all OFCCP obligations, and my affirmative action plan year is coming to end. Do I need to update my affirmative action plans this year, or do I qualify for this exemption?
March 30, 2020
On March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES Act—a $2 trillion emergency stimulus bill—intended to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. This article summarizes the provisions that most directly impact employers.
March 30, 2020
How will unemployment in Minnesota be impacted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act)?
March 29, 2020
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) permits employers to exempt “health care providers” from receiving paid leave and paid expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). So who is a “health care provider?”
March 27, 2020
What do we need to know about the DOL’s Families First Act Model Notice and what do we need to do now?
March 26, 2020
Minnesota’s Governor issued a “stay-at-home” Order on March 25, 2020. How do I know if my employees are exempt from travel restrictions as critical sector employees under the stay-at-home Order?
March 25, 2020
Do we have more guidance yet on how the Department of Labor will interpret key provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
March 25, 2020
Our Employment & Labor Group’s “COVID-19 Employment Question of the Day” features questions taken from their day-to-day conversations with (collectively) hundreds of employers in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and around the country.
March 20, 2020
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act became federal law. The Act’s employment provisions apply to all government employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.
March 18, 2020
In all of the myriad of situations posed by the coronavirus, there are a number of key areas for consideration and a number of important measures employers can implement to meet the challenges from a business, employee, customer relations and legal perspective.
February 19, 2020
Fredrikson & Byron attorneys Patrick D. Smith and Brandon R. Underwood recently won an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation under Federal and Iowa law.
January 7, 2020
The process of preparing H-1B petitions is changing this year, for the Fiscal Year 2021 H-1B lottery.
December 6, 2019
In October 2019, Waterloo became the first Iowa city to adopt a “Ban the Box” ordinance, following in the footsteps of more than 150 cities across the country adopting similar ordinances.
November 13, 2019
In December 2019, our Employment and Labor Group hosted a webinar series for HR professionals.
October 22, 2019
On November 21-22, 2019, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota.
October 14, 2019
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently affirmed an employer’s liability for more than a half million dollars in unpaid overtime wages and an additional half million in liquidated damages because the employer’s split-day compensation system did not comply with the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA).
October 1, 2019
The DOL’s new overtime rule is likely to survive the legal challenges that stopped the 2016 rule from going into effect. In the meantime, what should employers do to prepare for the rule’s effective date?
September 4, 2019
On November 7, 2019, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented the 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar in Minneapolis.
September 3, 2019
The last few months have brought a number of changes, big and small, to what is required of employers in Minnesota. Here are some of the changes that Minnesota employers need to know to stay compliant in an ever-changing legal environment.
August 21, 2019
On October 4, 2019, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Des Moines.
June 19, 2019
Minnesota employers are subject to several new record-keeping and notice requirements as a result of amendments made to several employment law statutes. The new requirements take effect July 1, 2019.
June 19, 2019
By Kendra D. Simmons and Paul J. Esker
During the 2019 Iowa Legislative Session, there were developments that may impact employment-related decisions, especially related to hiring.
April 18, 2019
On May 23, 2019, our Des Moines-based Employment & Labor attorneys provided the building blocks for an effective investigations protocol that can be implemented in response to harassment and discrimination complaints in today’s workplace.
Trending Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodation Issues for Businesses Under the Americans With Disabilities Act
March 14, 2019
On April 18, 2019, Fredrikson employment and technology lawyers and the co-founders of Accessible360 discussed accessibility and reasonable accommodation issues for businesses under the federal ADA and state law and practical strategies to prepare for such advances and trends.
November 9, 2018
In December 2018, Fredrikson & Byron hosted a series of webinars for HR professionals. Recordings of each of the webinars are available here.
September 6, 2018
On November 1, 2018, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented the 34th Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar in Minneapolis.
August 21, 2018
On September 27, 2018, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Des Moines.
August 9, 2018
Attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Bismarck on October 18, 2018, and in Fargo on October 19, 2018.
June 20, 2018
Fredrikson & Byron attorney Robert C. Boisvert was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
May 24, 2018
The United States Supreme Court handed an important victory to employers wishing to avoid employee class and collective actions by requiring individualized arbitrations.
May 2, 2018
On June 13, Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor and White Collar & Regulatory Defense Groups hosted a seminar on how to conduct effective internal investigations and how to preserve privilege while you do so.
April 12, 2018
On May 16 in Des Moines, Fredrikson attorneys Bridget Penick and Emily Pontius presented a practical, employer-focused seminar on how to best address harassment with effective prevention and response strategies.
February 14, 2018
On April 19, Fredrikson attorneys Kristy Albrecht, Beth Alvine and Mary Krakow presented a program for employers with realistic examples on how to best address wage issues for their companies.
December 1, 2017
Minimum wage hike initiatives continue to garner press attention and momentum nationwide. Lobbying and pressure on the national, state and local levels continues, and a growing number of states and cities have responded.
September 7, 2017
At this time last year, employers were deciding how to comply with the Department of Labor’s new rule that more than doubled the salary threshold for exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
August 9, 2017
On September 27, 2017, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Des Moines.
August 9, 2017
On November 3, 2017, the Employment & Labor Group hosted our 33rd Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar.
August 9, 2017
On October 5-6, 2017, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in North Dakota.
July 7, 2017
On June 30, 2017, the Minneapolis City Council passed an ordinance raising minimum wage rates in Minneapolis over a seven-year period, ultimately to a minimum wage rate of $15 an hour by July 2024 for all covered employers.
Vetoed Preemption Bill Means Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick Leave Ordinances Go Into Effect July 1 as Planned
June 1, 2017
On May 30, 2017, Minnesota Governor Dayton vetoed a bill that would have prevented cities from enacting their own minimum wage and sick time ordinances.
May 3, 2017
Fredrikson & Byron was proud to host Jessica Looman, Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, as she presented at the meeting of the Minnesota Management Attorneys Association.
January 24, 2017
Last Thursday, a Hennepin County district court judge issued its first substantive ruling in the legal challenge to the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. The court largely denied the Chamber of Commerce’s request to halt enforcement of the ordinance but agreed that employers located outside of Minneapolis should not be subject to the regulation – at least during the pendency of the suit.
January 12, 2017
On February 23, 2017, Anne Radolinski and Ashley Thronson discussed the current legal and business landscape related to paid leave, including the recent enactment of the Minneapolis and St. Paul sick and safe time ordinances.
November 23, 2016
Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction that will, for the time being, prevent the United States Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its highly-anticipated and controversial revisions to the “white collar” overtime exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
November 3, 2016
The two lawsuits filed in Texas federal court to enjoin implementation of the Department of Labor’s new salary requirements for exempt employees have not yet been decided. This means that the effective date of these new salary requirements is just around the corner. Are you ready?
October 27, 2016
With the November 8 general election looming, employers should be reminded of Iowa’s voting right statute, Iowa Code § 49-109.
October 15, 2016
Attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Bismarck and Fargo on October 13 and 14, 2016.
October 7, 2016
By Richard A. Ross & Kendra D. Simmons
Businesses with employees in California will be impacted by two recently-passed laws, one of which generally prohibits choice-of-law and choice-of-venue provisions in employment contracts with California employees and the other which penalizes employers for technical errors on pay stubs. Find out what action you can take to avoid penalties.
September 8, 2016
On September 7, 2016, the St. Paul City Council passed the St. Paul Earned Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, becoming the second city in Minnesota to guarantee paid “sick and safe” leave for employees working within its city limits. The law, which is similar but not identical to the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (Minneapolis Ordinance), will go into effect on July 1, 2017, for employers with 24 or more employees, and on January 1, 2018, for employers with 23 or fewer employees. While the city may issue additional guidance, here is what employers need to know now if they have employees who work in St. Paul.
August 31, 2016
On October 26, 2016, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented the 32nd Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar in Minneapolis.
August 24, 2016
On October 6, attorneys in Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor Group presented an annual Employment Law Seminar in Des Moines.
New OSHA Injury-Reporting Rule May Require Employers to Revise Policies on Injury-Related Discipline, Post-Accident Drug Testing & Safety Incentive Programs
June 8, 2016
By Richard A. Ross & Ashley R. Thronson
While there has been a lot of discussion regarding the Department of Labor’s recent release of the much-anticipated overtime regulations, some employers may have missed the issuance of another significant rule from the Department – OSHA’s Injury Reporting rule.
May 31, 2016
On May 27, 2016, the Minneapolis City Council passed the Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, guaranteeing paid “sick and safe” leave for most employees working within city limits and unpaid “sick and safe” leave for many others. The law is effective July 1, 2017. The mayor approved amendments on September 28, 2016, and further guidance may be forthcoming in the future, but here is what Minneapolis employers need to know now.
May 26, 2016
On June 14, 2016, attorneys from Fredrikson’s Employment & Labor group presented on the DOL’s new regulations raising the minimum salary for “exempt” employees.
May 20, 2016
On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the long-awaited new regulations which provide widespread and significant changes affecting all businesses and employees covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The regulations are effective December 1, 2016.
A Human Resources Investigation May Toll the Statute of Limitations Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act
May 16, 2016
Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), an employee has one year to file a legal claim with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or a court for alleged unlawful employment discrimination. That year, however, does not count the time the parties voluntarily engage in a dispute resolution process. See Minn. Stat. § 363A.28, subd. 3. Until recently, many believed that only formal dispute resolution processes, such as mediation or arbitration, qualified for tolling (suspending) the one-year statute of limitations (SOL) period. However, a recent Minnesota Court of Appeals case found that even an employer’s internal investigation can toll the running of the SOL if the underlying complaint involves alleged unlawful discrimination.
May 5, 2016
Employers face ever-increasing threats to the security of their trade secrets. Now, thanks to Congress, employers have a new tool to combat such threats (along with new potential headaches).
February 2, 2016
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued on Friday, January 29, 2016, proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) to require covered employers to report aggregate workforce compensation data. The EEOC indicates that the compensation data will assist the EEOC and other agencies in “identifying possible pay discrimination and will assist employers in promoting equal pay in their workplaces.”
December 29, 2015
On December 28, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2016-4, which extended the deadlines for employer and insurer reporting under the Affordable Care Act.
July 22, 2015
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Administrator’s Interpretation on July 15, 2015, warning employers against misclassifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. (Practically speaking, if a worker is an employee under one law, he or she must be treated as an employee for all purposes). The DOL explains that when employers improperly classify workers as independent contractors as opposed to employees, the worker does not receive important workplace protections such as minimum wage, overtime compensation, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. The DOL also notes that misclassification results in lower tax revenues for the government and an uneven playing field for employers who properly classify their workers as employees.
Proposed Changes to FLSA Rules Would Make Millions Eligible for Overtime by More Than Doubling Minimum Salary
July 1, 2015
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued long-awaited proposed revisions to its “white collar” regulations, which exempt certain employees from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal would raise the minimum salary required to qualify for the exemption to $50,440 per year. In an op-ed published in the Huffington Post on Monday, President Obama announced that the changes are intended to “extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016[.]”
Employer Confidentiality Rules and Other Policies: NLRB Report Discusses Lawful and Unlawful Language
March 30, 2015
On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel issued a 30-page memorandum (GC Memorandum) offering guidance on several common employer policies and handbook rules. In recent years, the NLRB has aggressively scrutinized and challenged employers’ rules covering a variety of topics. The GC Memorandum provides useful information for nearly all employers, whether unionized or not.
December 17, 2014
By Debra J. Linder & Lisa S. Robinson
We are near the end of the year and had hoped we would have some of the more highly anticipated regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as auto-enrollment and nondiscrimination for fully-insured group health plans. To date, that guidance has not been issued. Nonetheless, we wanted to remind you of some recent developments and upcoming deadlines under the ACA.
December 12, 2014
By David G. Waytz & Krista A.P. Hatcher
On Thursday, December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned existing precedent in a decision that contains important implications as to how employers draft and implement their electronic communications policies.
November 3, 2014
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa—along with a handful of cases in the United States—has left many employees and employers confused. As with any real or perceived crisis, there are key steps an employer should take to mitigate workplace panic and avoid legal claims. These include getting accurate information, communicating the information to employees and customers, and complying with a bewildering set of rights and responsibilities under state and federal law.
October 27, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
September 30, 2014
Are your LinkedIn contacts yours or your employer’s? Are they confidential? Could they even be considered trade secrets? While we do not yet know the answer to these important questions, we may be one step closer.
May 13, 2014
In a bold move, the Minnesota Legislature passed on Friday, May 9, 2014, the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), a controversial, comprehensive bill designed to further promote opportunities for women in the workplace. Governor Dayton signed the bill on Mother’s Day. WESA is comprised of multiple pieces of legislation and is touted as the first of its kind nationwide. How will these significant changes impact your business?
April 22, 2014
Minnesota’s new minimum wage already is causing employers to ask many questions before its first effective date of August 1, 2014. Key questions include – What is the new minimum wage? Does it apply to my employees? and, How do I know whether to use the federal or the Minnesota minimum if they differ?
February 3, 2014
By Richard A. Ross, Karen G. Schanfield, Krista A.P. Hatcher
On January 27, 2014, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that time spent donning and doffing (putting on and taking off) protective gear was time spent changing clothes, and was therefore not compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
November 4, 2013
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2014 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
September 1, 2013
By Lisa S. Robinson & Debra J. Linder
The Internal Revenue Service recently issued guidance in how the Federal Tax Code will tax employee benefits with respect to married same-sex couples. Same-sex couples who are legally married in a state or foreign jurisdiction will be treated as spouses under the Code, even if the couple currently resides in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
November 1, 2012
Do you have employment agreements, severance plans, change of control agreements or similar arrangements?
October 1, 2012
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2013 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
October 1, 2011
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2012 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plans. Most of the limits related to retirement plans are increased.
September 1, 2011
Effective November 14, 2011 most employers will be required to post a Notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
September 1, 2011
By Debra J. Linder & Krista A.P. Hatcher
Employee wellness programs have become increasingly popular as employers seek to control health insurance costs, improve the health and productivity of their workers, and reduce absenteeism.
March 29, 2011
On Monday, March 21, 2011, Governor Dayton signed into law H.F. 79, which conforms Minnesota’s individual income and corporate franchise taxes to most federal tax law changes enacted between March 18, 2010, and December 31, 2010, but only for the 2010 tax year.