Minnesota State District Court

Madia Law settled an age discrimination case on behalf of “Joan” after defeating her former employer’s motion for summary judgment.

The terms are confidential pursuant to the parties’ settlement agreement.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Historically, owners and managers of strip clubs have adhered to a business model that classifies exotic dancers (often called “strippers”) as independent contractors rather than employees.  By classifying dancers as independent contractors, employers are able to reap the financial benefits of having dancers work for them (and, as a result, turning a profit) while simultaneously avoiding having to pay the dancers for their work, paying into social security, and potentially paying unemployment insurance and workers compensation.  This business model, however, may be quickly eroding.

Minnesota and Wisconsin Employment Law Attorneys

In November, 2012, a federal court approved a roughly $13 million settlement in a nationwide class-action lawsuit against 16 strip clubs which were classifying their dancers as independent contractors.  Stephanie Hoops, Spearmint Rhino Exotic Dancers Settle Suit For Nearly $13 Million, The Huffington Post (November 11, 2012 1:32 PM) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/14/spearmint-rhino-exotic-dancers-settle-suit_n_2128458.html.  Moreover, recent court decisions have nearly unanimously ruled that exotic dancers are employees, not independent contractors.  See Hart v. Rick’s Cabaret International, Inc., 2013 WL 4822199 (2013); Clincy v. Galardi South Enterprises, Inc., 808 F.Supp.2d 1326 (2011); Thompson v. Linda And A, Inc. 779 F.Supp.2d 139 (2011).  That notwithstanding, there are still many strip clubs which continue to classify their dancers as independent contractors. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Madia Law obtained a successful jury trial verdict on behalf of a Minneapolis-based small business last week.  On Tuesday, a Hennepin County jury returned its verdict in Stallions, LLC d/b/a/ Club New York vs. St. Croix Plumbing and Drain Cleaning, LLC f/k/a St. Croix Mechanical, LLC and Steinkraus Plumbing, Inc.  (Case No. 27-CV-11-16645).

The jury held that Defendant St. Croix Plumbing and Drain Cleaning was negligent in performing plumbing work on the Minneapolis Lumber Exchange Building.  The jury found that, as a direct result of St. Croix’s negligence, Club New York was damaged on June 25, 2010 when a catastrophic plumbing failure resulted in major flooding to the building and to Club New York.  The jury awarded Club New York $298,000.00.Club New York June 25, 2010 Club New York, June 25, 2010

Hennepin County Judge Laurie Miller oversaw the five-day trial, where Club New York was represented by Madia Law Attorneys Ashwin Madia and Joshua Newville.  The jury found that Defendant Steinkraus Plumbing, represented by Attorney Teri Benston of Liberty Mutual, was not negligent.

{ 0 comments }

In employment lawsuits, preserving, finding, and utilizing electronic evidence can mean the difference between winning, winning big, or losing on summary judgment.  Electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) is an important source of critical evidence that can help you establish proof of discrimination, retaliation, and pretext.  Because such evidence can be digitally buried in complex servers and information systems, it is important that your employment law attorney be as sophisticated as possible during the discovery phase of your employment lawsuit.

Minnesota Employment Law Attorneys

Does your attorney know all the places your employer stores email and other potentially relevant data?  Does your employer’s attorney?  At the onset of litigation, the answer to the first question is a definitive no.  And it may surprise you that the answer to the second question is often the same.  [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

On May 24, 2013, Governor Mark Dayton signed HF 542, a bill adding additional protections for whistleblowers.  The Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA) was originally passed in 1987, and the purpose was to prohibit employers from acting in a retaliatory manner against employees who made a good faith report of any federal or state law or rule adopted pursuant to law.[1]  Ambiguities in the language of the statute have allowed for many different interpretations on statutory meaning throughout the years.  In Anderson-Johanningmeier v. Mid Minnesota Women’s Center, Inc., the Minnesota Supreme Court dealt with conflicting case law in determining the applicability of a public policy requirement in relation to whistleblower claims.[2]  The court concluded that public policy requirement relating to all whistleblower claims was not in accordance with the statutory language.  While the additional protections signed into law by Governor Dayton do not deal with the public policy requirement, the additions help to clear up other potential ambiguities within the statute.

Minneapolis Employment Law Lawyers

HF 542 serves two purposes in aiding the original whistleblower act.  First, the new law provides a definitional framework for several key terms that were left for interpretation.  Three sections of § 181.931 have terms that are defined in the new law, in an attempt to reduce conflicting interpretations, and to clearly exemplify the laws intent in protection of whistleblowing reports.  Second the bill expands the scope reported violations that are protected. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Madia Law, representing a woman who worked at a Twin Cities technology company, has initiated a sex discrimination lawsuit against the company pursuant to the Minnesota Human Rights Act.  Just prior to the Plaintiff’s hire, the company (which has been in business for decades) employed dozens of men and not a single woman.

In Fall 2012, the Plaintiff commenced employment as a department manager. Around the same time, the Defendant hired two other women. During her interview, a senior-level executive told the Plaintiff that although he was willing to hire her, the company had bad past experiences with women and “doesn’t like to hire” them.  Shortly after starting, the Plaintiff was told that she would have to “prove” herself by, “doing better than any man” if she wanted to keep her job; she was also repeatedly told that she was, “at a disadvantage” because she was a woman. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

In November 2012, Madia Law sued a Twin Cities accounting firm on behalf of a learning disabled accountant. The young accountant, who has suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”) since he was a child, disclosed his disability to his supervisor at the time of his first performance evaluation.

 

Despite being fully capable of being successful at the job, the young man wanted to be sure his supervisor knew that he thinks, learns, and works in a different way than others, particularly since he noticed a few comments on his evaluation that seemed to signal a concern with the way he processed information and executed tasks. The accountant felt that it would help everyone involved to be aware of his slight disability. But, soon after disclosing his disability and requesting slight accommodation, he was fired.  [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Minnesota Lawyer covered Madia Law’s recent $1.3 million jury verdict in it’s October issue.  The front-page article includes excerpts of interviews with Ashwin Madia and Susan Gaertner.

 


{ 0 comments }

For the first time in almost forty years, Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate of the Minnesota Legislature for the previous two sessions.  Despite the veto power of Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL), Minnesota Republicans made significant strides in the latest sessions–including placement on the ballot of the proposed Voter-ID and anti gay marriage amendments.  Whether Republicans retain those majorities in November may have a significant impact on the direction of labor/employment law and various civil rights matters in the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions.

MinnPost photo by James Nord

 

If the Republicans do retain majorities in both houses, one thing to expect is that Minnesota will join the likes of Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma in having its voters decide on a “right to work” amendment to the Minnesota Constitution.

[click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

After a two week trial, a Carver County jury awarded Madia law client Dr. Sam Deweese nearly $1.3M in damages from his former clinic.

Dr. Deweese worked as a family practice physician for nearly twenty years at his clinic and earned high praise from his patients.  He devoted his entire working life to the institution, committed himself to a high standard of excellence in his profession, and committed a large capital contribution in order to secure his partnership.  Dr. Deweese alleged that his clinic’s relationship with him changed after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in summer 2007.

Read More . . .

{ 9 comments }

July 2012: Madia Law Settles Unlawful Deductions Case on Behalf of Physician’s Assistant

August 10, 2012

Madia Law represented “Laura” – a physician’s assistant who was hired by a medical clinic that found Laura through a recruiting agency.  After hiring Laura, the clinic began making deductions from her checks to cover the “recruitment fee” that it paid the agency to find Laura.  In total, the clinic deducted close to $30,000 from […]

Read the full article →

Off-Duty Minneapolis Police Officer Punches Man in Head

June 26, 2012

Minneapolis Police Sergeant David Clifford, 47, is the executive member of the SWAT team and a 19-year department veteran who has twice received the Medal of Valor. Last week, Clifford was charged with felony assault after he punched Brian Vander Lee in the head at Tanners Station in Andover. Clifford’s actions resulted in Vander Lee requiring life […]

Read the full article →

Minnesota Supreme Court: Employees do not need to refer to Minnesota Parental Leave Act when taking medical leave

June 3, 2012

Hansen v. Robert Half Intnt’l (Minn. 2012):  The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled this week that employees taking medical leave from work do not need to mention the Minnesota Parental Leave Act (MPLA) in order to have their jobs protected by the law while on medical leave.

Read the full article →

Minnesota Supreme Court: Hostile Work Environment Sex Discrimination can occur even without Sexual Harassment

May 16, 2012

LaMont v. Independent School District #728 (Minn. 2012):  The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that a hostile work environment claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act may be based on conduct that is based on sex, even if the conduct is not sexual.

Read the full article →

Jan. 2012: Madia Law settles racial discrimination and workers’ compensation retaliation case against Fortune 500 company

January 17, 2012

This was a case in which an Asian American manager was chosen for termination pursuant to a reduction in force by his employer.  In hard economic times, employers sometimes need to cut back in their workforce, and there’s nothing illegal about that.  The issue in this case, though, was that the employer chose this particular […]

Read the full article →

Dec. 2011: Madia Law beats every charge of hospital’s summary judgment motion on behalf of disabled physician

December 13, 2011

A Carver County District Court judge ruled against Lakeview Clinic’s motion for summary judgment and held that Madia Law client Dr. Sam Deweese should be allowed to proceed to trial on each of the seven counts pled in his complaint. Dr. Deweese worked as a family practice physician for nearly twenty years at Lakeview and earned […]

Read the full article →

Sept. 2011: Madia Law wins $93,000 judgment on behalf of small business defrauded by corporation

September 29, 2011

Vermilion Sports, a small business in upstate Minnesota that sold boats and was winding down business operations, was defrauded by a corporation that promised to sell its remaining inventory for a percentage of the profit.  Instead of only taking a percentage of the profit, the corporation took Vermilion’s boats, sold them, and kept all profits. […]

Read the full article →

Mar. 2011: Madia Law beats summary judgment motion brought by one of MN’s biggest law firms; settles case for retaliation victim

March 18, 2011

“Sam” worked as a salesman for several years at the same company. On occasion, he heard his supervisor and colleagues use anti-Semitic slurs in the workplace. Sam sent a very polite email stating that he had family members who died in the Holocaust and would like it if the comments stopped. All of a sudden, […]

Read the full article →

Feb. 2011: Madia Law defeats summary judgment motion and settles case on behalf of sexual harassment victim

February 18, 2011

Madia Law represented “Jennifer” (name changed for confidentiality reasons), a young woman who was sexually harassed by her supervisor of a period of months. Jennifer’s supervisor: repeatedly bragged to her about his sexual endurance; made vulgar comments about her physical appearance; turned innocent conversations into sexual innuendo; told Jennifer that she should leave her fiancee […]

Read the full article →