We fight to protect workers’ rights. Empowering Clients. Advancing Justice.
The Minneapolis law firm of Schaefer Halleen focuses on protecting employee rights. We give a voice to victims of workplace misconduct. We are honored that our clients trust us to counsel them through the litigation process dealing with discrimination and employment law in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We commit to apply the full breadth of our experience, skill, and creativity toward a satisfactory resolution of each case we take. Contact us for a confidential consultation about your legal problem. We will help you solve it.
My clients inspire me every day. It’s a privilege to help victims of illegal workplace conduct move past this trauma and have their dignity and self-worth restored, while holding the offending employer accountable.”
-Lawrence P. Schaefer, Owner, Partner and President
COVID-19 Resources for Employees
COVID-19 has created a unique and different workplace. As employee advocates, we want you to know what your rights are during this unprecedented time.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Family Leave Tax Credits Under the American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act allows employers to voluntarily extend emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) provisions of the Families First Coro...
Take the Jab or Lose Your Job – Can Employers Force Employees to Get Vaccinated?
The Covid-19 Delta variant has put a big crimp in pandemic recovery, and driven many employers to require employees to get vaccinated. To the extent reasonably possible, employers must accommodate t...
COVID and the Law- Can Employers Escape Liability by Claiming They Were Working for the Government
At least six workers at the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa died from COVID, and eventually Tyson shut the plant down. Last year surviving family members of four of the workers s...
Blog Series on Employment Contracts for MN Doctors
Here’s our take on the most important employment contract issues facing MN Physicians.
- Why Doctors Should Seek Legal Advice on Their Employment Contracts
- Contract Law Fundamentals for Doctors
- Promises Doctors and Employers Exchange in Their Contracts
- What Doctors’ Contracts Say About Termination and Severance
- Malpractice Insurance, Non-Competes, and Secrecy Provisions in Doctor’s Contracts
- What Their Contracts Say About Disagreements Between Doctors and Their Employers
Minnesota Executives Face Unique Employment Issues
As an executive, your employment legal needs can be complicated. Here is content we have created just for you:
Workplace Discrimination Lawyers in Minneapolis
Minneapolis workplace discrimination lawyers Schaefer Halleen understand that discrimination remains a significant problem in the workplace. Discrimination based on age, race, national origin, gender, gender identity, disability, religion, sexual orientation, family or marital status, and other protected areas will always remain a significant focus for us because these problems persist in the workplace despite state-of-the-art training and policies.
Discrimination occurs whenever an employee (or applicant) is treated differently because of protected status. It’s that simple. Workplace discrimination, however, is often subtle, so employees being treated differently at work need an advocate with deep experience in understanding how to prove discriminatory intent. Our Minneapolis employment attorneys have decades of experience in all areas of protected class discrimination, and we will not charge for a call to evaluate your situation.
When you retain the Minneapolis workplace discrimination attorneys at Schaefer Halleen, you can be confident that you’ve found an advocate who can trace different treatment to discriminatory intent. We know how to demonstrate how general unfairness actually stems from a discriminatory motive, and how the employer’s alleged reason for the actions we challenge for you are either not true, or are being advanced to mask a discriminatory motive. We usually will do so on a contingency basis, so we don’t get paid until we get reasonable compensation for you. Learn more >
Minnesota Employment Retaliation Lawyers
The Minnesota employment retaliation lawyers at Schaefer Halleen understand that workplace retaliation takes many forms, and can sometimes be difficult to prove. It’s human, however, to want “revenge” against someone who complains about you. Employers often want to “punish” the whistleblower. Judges understand employment retaliation best when it is explained in these simple terms.
In Minnesota, we have many laws which not only prohibit retaliation in the workplace, but define what are “protected reports” or what constitutes “participation in an investigation” giving rise to the obligation not to retaliate.
These protections are often far broader than many employees understand. A protected report can be verbal, it can stem from a violation of a common Minnesota employment law or contract obligation, not just statutory protections. It can stem from failure to follow an internal company policy. It can stem from past participation in an investigation of alleged wrongdoing in any of these areas. If action is taken against you that is motivated by any of these kind of circumstances, you likely have a viable employment retaliation claim. The Minnesota employment retaliation lawyers at Schaefer Halleen not only understand these legal protections, we have helped to change the law in this state to broaden these protections. We, as Minneapolis employment law attorneys, are privileged to advocate for whistleblowers subject to employment retaliation of any kind in the workplace, not just termination. Learn more >
Minnesota Physician and Executive Employment Contracts
Minnesota executive employment contracts, including contracts which cover physicians, require the involvement, advice and advocacy of experienced Minnesota employment law attorneys. Schaefer Halleen employment lawyers in Minneapolis have deep experience in all areas of negotiating and finalizing these contracts.
We deploy this experience to protect our client at the outset of these important relationships, so that disputes in the future are minimized when difficult issues arise. Whether relating to compensation, bonus structures, equity awards, deferred compensation, or the circumstances relating to the employment relationship ending, we know what language is “state of the art” to protect executive or physician employment rights.
View the firm’s Services for Physicians and Medical Professionals.
Severance agreements, whether triggered by contract rights or legal claims supporting a release of claims for reasonable compensation, comprise a very significant portion of the legal practice at Schaefer Halleen. Our employment attorneys Minnesota know how to develop the relevant facts, and to “leverage” these facts to result in productive negotiations for our clients. When you have been offered a severance if you have been terminated, the law requires that you be encouraged to consult with legal counsel before any release of claims can be effective. Schaefer Halleen severance employment attorneys can not only help you understand the legalese often contained in these agreements, but can, most importantly, advise you whether the compensation offered is reasonable for releasing the potential legal claims at issue. If it isn’t, we can formulate and execute a legal strategy designed to secure this reasonable severance compensation for you. Learn more >
Minneapolis Sexual Harassment Discrimination Lawyers
The Minneapolis sexual harassment discrimination lawyers at Schaefer Halleen understand that the recent #MeToo movement is just the beginning of a cultural awakening about how pervasive sexual harassment and even sexual assault remains in the workplace. Let us be your advocate against sexual harassment in the workplace.
We are committed to doing the hard work of eradicating harassment from the workplace, and holding workplace offenders, and corporate enablers, accountable. Our Minneapolis sexual harassment lawyers have literally created many of the protections against sexual harassment, especially when it occurs on a class-wide basis. Jean Boler and Larry Schaefer were two of the lead counsel in the seminal Jenson v. Eveleth Mines class action case (the first ever case certified as a class action on a sexual harassment claim), later made into the movie “North Country.”
Sexual harassment is gender discrimination, and its effect are devastating. Illegal harassment isn’t just “sexual” conduct. It can be abusive or bullying conduct or comments directed at one gender. Legal violations can be based on even a single incident, if it can be characterized as “severe.” We know how to prove when a work environment has become “hostile” from sexual harassment, how to develop the #MeToo testimony that other targets are now often more willing to provide. We know how to prove when sexual harassment discrimination takes the form of conditioning workplace privileges on acquiescing to sexual advancements – known as quid pro quo harassment. When you retain the Minneapolis sexual harassment discrimination attorneys at Schaefer Halleen, you can be assured you have an advocate who won’t give up until your rights to be free from harassment are vindicated. Learn more >
Disability + Leave Discrimination Attorneys in MPLS
The Minneapolis disability and leave discrimination lawyers at Schaefer Halleen understand that employees with disabilities, or who require leave, need the full protection of the law.
Whether grounded in federal or state law, these protections are robust, requiring that employees with disabilities be accommodated when necessary, be allowed full and equal employment opportunity with or without accommodations, and that employees who qualify for leave must be granted this leave, be returned to the same or similar position, and be free from any discrimination or retaliation for having taken this leave.
Employers, however, sometimes fail to follow their obligations in these areas. They fail to recognize qualified disabilities, deny needed accommodations, or erect roadblocks that make this process difficult or even futile for an employee seeking legally obligated protections. Employers sometimes either deny leave required under the Family Medical Leave Act or similar state law protections, or thereafter retaliate against employees who request and need this leave, whether based on their own medical condition or a loved one. If you are experiencing any of these illegal actions, the Minneapolis disability and leave discrimination lawyers at Schaefer Halleen can help. We can and will enforce your rights, and hold offending employers accountable. A telephone consultation with a Minneapolis discrimination attorney on these issues is free, and our representation often thereafter proceeds on a contingency basis. Learn more >
Minnesota Wrongful Termination Lawyers
The Minnesota wrongful termination lawyers at Schaefer Halleen know how enforcing employment rights is not at all inconsistent with the “employment at will” doctrine.
Employers often inform employees of this doctrine, in writing, in the hopes that the employee will thereafter believe that they can’t legally challenge any subsequent termination because of the at-will discretion. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and terminated employees do not need to feel powerless because of this doctrine. The experienced lawyers at Schaefer Halleen can and will enforce any rights which have been violated.
Larry Schaefer, the founder and President of Schaefer Halleen, refers to employment-at-will as the “swiss cheese” of legal doctrines. That’s because, in his 30-plus years of successful advocacy, he knows there are more holes than cheese in this doctrine. Mr. Schaefer, and the wrongful termination lawyers at Schaefer Halleen he has trained and worked with, can usually convert unfairness in a termination into a viable legal claim. While “wrongful termination” is not a recognized legal claim, statutory protections against discrimination cover many protected classes, retaliation can arise by statute or common law in so many circumstances, terms of a contract or a prior promise may be violated, or common law protections against defamation or other tortious conduct can all give rise to claims where termination unfairness has legal consequences. Call the Minnesota wrongful termination lawyers at Schaefer Halleen to determine if your circumstances fit within any one of these many holes. If it does, we can and will enforce your rights. Learn more >
Employment Class Action Attorney in Minneapolis
The Minneapolis class action attorneys at Schaefer Halleen understand that a class case is often the best avenue to achieve justice for our clients and a change in illegal employment practices. When systemic discrimination, pay, and/or overtime practices occur, just one individual, with the right legal counsel, can proceed to represent the larger class of affected employees in litigation. This truly “levels the playing field” in litigation, and can be a vehicle to achieve lasting change. We welcome the opportunity to prosecute these claims, and have the experience to navigate through every step of the class action process.
Founder Larry Schaefer, as well as senior attorneys Darren Sharp, and Bert Black, all have deep experience in successfully prosecuting often ground-breaking class action claims. Larry Schaefer and Jean Boler worked together for years in leading the prosecution of the first ever sexual harassment case certified as a class action, Jenson et al. v. Eveleth Mines, which was later made into the acclaimed movie North Country. Our Minneapolis employment law attorneys have the experience, and reputation, of seeing a class action through every step of the litigation process, if necessary.
The employment class action attorneys at Schaefer Halleen also know how to develop the evidence of a pattern of discrimination throughout an organization, often through the use of statistical experts, when necessary. This expertise is critically important not just when prosecuting class action claims, but also when developing #MeToo evidence in support of individual or group discrimination claims. We also welcome the opportunity to co-counsel with other firms in these cases, and can assist in ensuring that all necessary resources are brought to bear when prosecuting these claims. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation about whether your case can be successfully prosecuted as a class action. Learn more >
Minnesota House Passes the CROWN Act Hair Discrimination Bill
On February 1, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” The law prohibits racial discrimination based on ...
7 Surprising Examples of Workplace Age Discrimination
Like your age, age discrimination can sneak up on you. Here are five potentially surprising examples when and where we see age bias improperly impacting employment decisions. ...
The End of Minnesota Non-Compete Agreements?
As the calendar flipped to 2023, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a rule to essentially ban non-compete agreements nationwide, referring to the use of these agreements as an “often exploitative...
Signs of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
When I talk with friends and family about the work accomplished by Schaefer Halleen, so many people say to me, “But sexual harassment in the workplace can’t still be a thing, right? Don’t people...