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Minnesota Supreme Court extends statute of limitations for some claims under Minnesota Human Rights Act

On April 12, 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion in Peterson v. City of Minneapolis, 2017 Minn. LEXIS 195 (Apr. 12, 2017), that may extend the statute of limitations for some employment claims brought under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Scott Peterson was a Minneapolis Police Officer for several years. In 2011, he was transferred to a new police unit, and he complained that the transfer was because of age discrimination. Rather than file a charge of discrimination, Officer Peterson filed a complaint through the City’s internal investigative wing. Over a year later, the City concluded that Officer Peterson had not been discriminated against.

Officer Peterson then sued the City. The City responded by arguing that it was too late to sue—there is a one-year statute of limitations for claims under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and Peterson was more than a year after his transfer. But, as the Minnesota Supreme Court recognized, that one-year statute of limitations is “tolled” or suspended during the time that the parties are engaged in their own dispute resolution process. So for Officer Peterson, the time that the City was investigating his discrimination claim did not count against his statute of limitations. That meant that even though Officer Peterson sued more  than a year after his transfer, his claim was still timely.

Before seeking a lawyer, many employees will attempt to work out their employment issues directly with their employers. With the Peterson case, it now seems this time may not count toward the statute of limitations for claims under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. However, because many employment claims have very short statutes of limitations, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible if you have an employment concern or a workplace dispute.

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Lawyers Attend MDL Panel in Minneapolis

Vildan Teske, Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel attended the Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation (“MDL”) held at the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota in Minneapolis on May 28, 2015.

Multi-district litigation (“MDL”) refers to a special federal legal procedure designed to speed the process of handling very complex civil cases. A portion of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s class action practice includes MDL. For instance, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel currently represents a client in In Re: Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2326, pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. This case is one of several pelvic mesh lawsuits filed on behalf of women nationwide against manufacturers of transvaginal mesh (TVM) and sling devices. 

Rochel Moderates Panel of Federal Law Clerks

Brian Rochel moderated a panel of federal law clerks discussing practice pointers for employment and labor attorneys. The panel, entitled “Federal Law Clerks’ Tips on Trial and Dispositive Motions,” featured Katherine Bruce, law clerk to the Honorable Donovan W. Frank, Mark Betinsky, law clerk to the Honorable Richard J. Kyle, and Elizabeth Welter, law clerk to the Honorable Patrick J. Schiltz. The panel was part of the Federal Bar Association Labor & Employment Section‘s fall seminar. For more information on the seminar, including the federal law clerk panel, click here.

 

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel Lawyers Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Douglas Micko was recognized as a “Super Lawyer,” a distinction awarded to only 5% of attorneys in Minnesota. In addition, Marisa Katz, Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel were all recognized as “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers. Each year, no more than 2.5% of practicing attorneys in the state receive this award, which is based on a combination of peer nominations and objective criteria.

For individual profiles and to see Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s firm profile, visit the Super Lawyers website.

To view the full digital Super Lawyers magazine with the complete list, click here.

Doug Micko Presents on Pregnancy and Pay Discrimination

At today’s 40th Annual Labor & Employment Law Institute, Doug Micko presented on a continuing education panel along with EEOC Commissioner Jenny R. Yang and other noted attorneys. The panel discussed cutting-edge issues involving pay and pregnancy discrimination. The discussion was prompted by this year marking both the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and the 35th Anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Doug offered his insights on current developments in both areas, and led a discussion on the interaction between the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).