Minnesota News & Analysis

  • 3 ways to address employee burnout before your company gets burned

    Employers are protecting employees' health and safety from COVID-19 by requiring or encouraging them to work from home, but you should be aware the arrangement can pose an unintended consequence: employee burnout. If you're wondering how to spot and address burnout before it leads to greater issues, here are some tips to consider.

  • Guidance for employers as 'Strike for Black Lives' unfolds

    On July 20, 2020, organizers and labor organizations across the country held a "Strike for Black Lives"—a national walkout of workers in support of "dismantling racism and white su-premacy to bring about fundamental changes in our society, economy and workplaces." To limit liability and keep their businesses running, employers must understand employees' legal rights to participate in a one-day political strike. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has inter-preted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to provide important protections to employees who engage in such strikes, and employers should respect the analysis and respond accordingly.

  • What businesses should know about OSHA's supplemental reopening guidance

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidance on returning to work for businesses deemed nonessential. The guidance is intended to supplement the agency's previously issued guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for "Opening Up America Again." OSHA's guidance is also supposed to supplement state and local information and reopening requirements. You can use the guidance to develop policies and procedures to ensure your employees' safety and health.

  • CDC revamps recs for symptomatic employees, but COVID-19 testing can continue

    Increasing evidence shows most people with mild to moderate COVID-19 are no longer infectious 10 days after they begin having symptoms. Consequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suddenly switched course and started discouraging people from getting tested a second time after they recover. Regardless, employers may still require a negative test before letting infected employees return to the workplace.

  • Balancing 'work from home' and family

    It's safe to say our nation is in uncharted territory when contemplating how to establish a work-life balance while homeschooling and caring for children, keeping up with the demands of "work from home," and facing an unknown future. Fortunately, many people have had access to the necessary technology to work from home. Unfortunately, there is no handbook on how to balance employment with childcare and educational needs.

  • Discord over foreign workers has long history, elusive solution

    The fate of foreign workers in the United States remains up in the air amid the worldwide public health crisis and political disputes related to immigration and foreign worker programs. The COVID-19 pandemic had already slowed or stopped authorization of many foreign workers when the Trump administration in June restricted visas for some classes of foreign workers. The administration's action came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that was at least a temporary win for certain young immigrant workers already in the United States. Then President Donald Trump hinted at more change on the way for those immigrants. So, the signals are mixed, making uncertainty the key word for foreign workers and their employers.

  • Adapt or die? Looking ahead to a post-COVID workplace

    It didn't take a worldwide public health crisis to pique people's curiosity about what the workplace of the future will look like. Managers and frontline staff alike have always pondered the best designs for productivity, efficiency, and safety. But COVID-19 has changed everything. The workplaces that are reopening in many cases have a different look and feel than anyone expected prepandemic. Temperature checks at building entrances, plexiglass barriers, spaced-out desks, and occupancy limits for elevators are just a few of the changes now in place in many workplaces. Some of the modifications may be short-lived, but experts, including designers and futurists, expect others will be long-term or even permanent.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Poll shows confidence in remote work. A recent edition of LinkedIn's Workforce Confidence Index released in May gives HR professionals food for thought as they consider the future. The survey shows that 55% of respondents think their industry can be effective when people work remotely. Optimism is strongest in such fields as software, finance, and media, a LinkedIn blog post said. But remote work is a "polarizing topic" in other sectors in which in-person interaction is crucial, according to the blog. Forty-eight percent of respondents in health care were optimistic about remote work, and 41% in manufacturing were keen on the idea. The most resistance was noted in retail, with just 29% of insiders thinking their industry could thrive with remote work. The poll included 5,447 LinkedIn members and covered the week of April 27 to May 3.

  • Don't make same arguments sports teams use to defend Native American imagery

    The sporting world has been abuzz recently with news the Washington NFL team is changing its name and logos to move away from their overt Native American imagery. Cleveland's Major League Baseball team is considering a similar move. Looking at how the teams have defended their names in the past, we've identified a few lessons for employers that may be facing hostile work environment claims of their own.

  • Justice Gorsuch: Person's gay or transgender status 'not relevant to employment decisions'

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's ban on employment discrimination "based on sex" applies to discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 15, 2020. In the surprise 6-3 decision written by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Court said the federal civil rights law is clear: "An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law."