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August 2013 Archives

EEOC: boss set video cameras to ogle woman at Worthington company

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against an office furniture and supply company in Worthington after its operations manager allegedly set up the business’s security cameras to focus in on an employee’s breasts and body and streamed hours of that video to his office computer. This created a sexually-hostile work environment what the EEOC called a “particularly egregious” violation of her and all of its employees’ rights.

Dispute over trustee fees leaves many asking what is reasonable

Three trustees who have been charged with managing a charitable trust on behalf of a friend are now embroiled in a court battle over fair compensation for their work. To understand the case it is first important to know that there are various titles for people who manage an estate, including an administrator appointed by the court for someone who does not have a will, or an executor named in a will or appointed by a court to manage affairs, or a trustee named in trust documents or a will or appointed by the court. Each of these three titles hold what is called a fiduciary duty, which means that the person holds a high duty of care and loyalty to do the job to the best of their ability and in good faith. 

Do doctors have rights against gender-biased board certification?

For physicians, achieving a board certification in their medical specialty often isn’t the result of additional training undertaken to bring prestige to their practices. In many areas, board certification is either required to practice at all, or in order to achieve affordable malpractice insurance. For dermatologists, apparently, certification is the final exam, so to speak, just as bar membership is for practicing attorneys. When dermatologists fail the certification exam -- or are later expelled by the board -- they must repeat their medical residencies, according to a recent federal lawsuit.

Iraq vet wins $75,000 for disability discrimination by the FBI

The goal of our nation’s laws against discrimination is simply to give qualified people a fair chance at obtaining the employment they’re interested in. All most people want is an opportunity to prove they’re qualified to do the work and, if they are, have an equal shot at getting hired and fair treatment from their employers. Workplace discrimination takes those chances away.

Different types of gifts involve different tax liabilities

As many Minnesota readers can imagine, a big part of estate planning is effective tax planning. We discussed this issue in a recent post as a part of the controversy over the actor James Gandolfini's will, where tax and other considerations were likely both at play.

Whistleblower wrongful termination suit against Globe heats up

Last year, two fired deans from Globe University / Minnesota School of Business filed unlawful discharge lawsuits claiming that they had been fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on misleading practices and ethical issues at the for-profit colleges. Under both Minnesota and federal law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against whistleblowers who come forward about perceived ethical or legal wrongdoing.

How will same-sex marriage affect Minnesota estate planning?

As many Twin Cities readers are likely aware, a new law allowing same-sex marriage in Minnesota took effect this past week. Minnesota's legislative change along with the recent Supreme Court decision extending federal benefits to same-sex couples will have wide ranging impact, including a signficant change in the area of estate planning.

Decade-long USPS disability discrimination suit finally settles

In 1998, a postal worker at a facility in Washington, D.C. filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He said that the United States Postal Service had refused to reasonably accommodate his disability, which was hearing impairment. After mediating with the EEOC, the USPS promised to provide the man with the American Sign Language interpreter he needed to do his job.

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