Monday, October 23, 2017

Best Practices to Prevent and Address Sexual Harassment

Sadly, the concerning news that’s recently surfaced about sexual harassment and assault allegations in Hollywood is all too familiar. This year, we’ve seen a number of high-profile sexual harassment stories go viral involving the ride-sharing, music, Hollywood, and news media industries. These high profile stories should serve as a reminder to employers of the importance of having sound policies and practices in harassment prevention and response. Below are some suggested best practices for employers to consider.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Employees Found to Have a Private Right of Action under Minnesota Tip Pooling Law

As previously reported, a Hennepin County district court judge ruled earlier this fall in a class action case against Surly Brewing that an employee tip-pooling agreement made with employer coercion or participation violates Minnesota’s wage and hour law. Now, the Minnesota Supreme Court has found that Minnesota’s wage and hour law expressly permits a private cause of action for an employee who is discharged for refusing to share gratuities.

The Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling was issued this week in Burt v. Rackner, Inc. d/b/a/ Bunny’s Bar & Grill. The plaintiff, Todd Burt, alleged that he was told by his restaurant employer that “to give more of his tips to the bussers, and that there would be consequences if that did not happen.” After refusing to follow the directive, Burt was terminated. Burt sued, claiming that his termination violated the tip-sharing provision of the Minnesota wage and hour law. More specifically, Minnesota law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee “to contribute or share a gratuity received by the employee” or to “contribute any or all of the gratuity to a fund or pool.”