Minnesota Cities Magazine
More from Nov-Dec 2017 issue

Ask LMC: City Liability for Youth Sentenced to Community Service

What is the city’s liability when juveniles
sentenced to court- ordered community service are used for
city projects?Court-Ordered Community Service
Q: What is the city’s liability when juveniles sentenced to court-ordered community service are used for city projects? Is there something we should do to minimize the city’s liability and workplace injury claims?

LMC: State law provides that the city will not be liable for the injury or death of a worker sustained during the court-ordered community service. Minnesota Statutes, section 3.739 establishes a process for these claims to be paid by the state. However, the city should still make sure the work is appropriately supervised and suitable for the type of worker. If the worker should injure a co-worker or member of the public while performing his or her duties, the city might find itself with an unexpected claim. Finally, these juvenile workers are still covered by child labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws and shouldn’t be performing any work deemed to be dangerously unsuitable for youth.

Answered by Loss Control Manager Rachel Carlson: rcarlson@lmc.org

Under state law, a fire relief association is a nonprofit corporationFire Relief Association Boards
Q: Are there any legal requirements about what the makeup of a fire relief association board should be?

LMC: Under state law, a fire relief association is a nonprofit corporation, separate from the city, with the authority to provide pension, disability, and death benefits to its members through special funds (restricted) and to engage in other activities and spend other monies out of their general funds (nonrestricted) that the corporation’s bylaws permit. The relief association is governed by a board of trustees. Membership of the board is set forth in Minnesota Statutes, section 424A.04. The board has nine members, including:

  • Six members from the membership of the relief association.
  • An elected city official.
  • Another elected city official or an appointed city official.
  • The chief of the city fire department.

For a relief association affiliated with a fire department operated as or by a joint powers entity, the municipal trustees must be the fire chief and two trustees designated by the joint powers board. The elected and appointed officials are chosen by the city council annually. The city members must be informed of and should attend all relief association board meetings. They are full members with voting rights. To learn more about fire relief associations, see page 41 of the LMC information memo at www.lmc.org/firedept.

Answered by Research Attorney Quinn O’Reilly: qoreilly@lmc.org

If it makes sense given the job duties of the position for which you are recruiting, you can give points for speaking a second language or for experi- ence working with communities of color.Hiring
Q: Our city wants to recruit more people of color to increase the diversity of our workforce. Can we give points to such individuals when we are evaluating their employment application, like we do for veterans?

LMC: Most likely not. This is likely to be viewed by the courts or enforcement agencies as discrimination against candidates who are not people of color. However, if it makes sense given the job duties of the position for which you are recruiting, you can give points for speaking a second language or for experience working with communities of color. For example, a police officer candidate who would routinely interact with residents who speak Spanish could probably receive points for speaking that language.

Answered by HR Director Laura Kushner: lkushner@lmc.org

Read the Nov-Dec 2017 issue of Minnesota Cities magazine

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