Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Previously, he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

Lawsuit continues against racial preference in MPS teacher layoff policy — and other labor news

By: - December 8, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond.  A lawsuit challenging a new policy that would shield Minneapolis teachers of color from seniority-based layoffs will proceed after the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a lower court’s decision to throw out the case.  The policy […]

Construction contractor sentenced to 2 years probation following worker injury

By: - December 4, 2023

The owner of a Twin Cities area construction company was sentenced on Monday to 20 days of electronic home monitoring and two years of probation for insurance fraud in a case highlighting the common exploitation of workers in the residential construction industry. Nelson Israel Lopez Giron, 35, was sentenced in Hennepin County District Court after […]

Health care unions fight stagnant pay and rising burnout — and other labor news

By: - December 1, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. More than 350 Essentia Health nurse practitioners and other advanced practice providers could vote to unionize with the Minnesota Nurses Association after workers filed a petition for an election with federal labor regulators on Monday. The group includes […]

Worker fired for pregnancy received $97,500 in settlement with Minnesota Human Rights Department

By: - November 29, 2023

A Minnesota dental office paid a former worker $97,000 for illegally firing her for being pregnant as part of a settlement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the agency announced on Wednesday. In December 2020, Christina Vescio-Holland told her employer, PL Dental in Coon Rapids, that she was pregnant with twins and that her […]

Mayo Clinic leaders unveil $5 billion in infrastructure investments with political leaders

By: - November 28, 2023

Mayo Clinic leaders unveiled plans on Tuesday for five new buildings at its flagship campus in Rochester totaling $5 billion that will allow the hospital to “scale transformation in ways never before imagined.” The project’s cost is more than four times that of the U.S. Bank Stadium, a ratio used by a Mayo Clinic executive […]

Wage theft cases remain unresolved years later — and other labor news

By: - November 24, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. Two years ago Javier Mendez Velasco and dozens of other construction workers on the Viking Lakes development in Eagan filed wage theft complaints with state regulators. Velasco, who worked for the subcontractor Property Maintenance & Construction, estimates he’s […]

Government tax subsidies go to construction contractors with labor abuse records

By: - November 17, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. North Star Policy Action, a union-backed Minnesota think tank, documented 33 construction projects that have received over $84 million in taxpayer subsidies while employing contractors tied to proven or alleged worker exploitation.  For example, they look at Absolute […]

Study: 32,000 Twin Cities area workers illegally paid less than minimum wage

By: - November 15, 2023

Employers are illegally paying less than minimum wage to an estimated 32,000 workers in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, according to a new report from the Workplace Justice Lab at Rutgers University. On average, workers were shorted $2,700 per year over the past decade with violations concentrated in high-demand, service sector jobs in places like […]

White Earth marijuana raid challenges Minnesota cannabis law

By: - November 13, 2023

About three months ago, Mahnomen County sheriff’s deputies and White Earth tribal police raided Todd Thompson’s tobacco shop, seizing around seven pounds of cannabis, along with $3,000 in cash, his cell phone and surveillance system. The Aug. 2 raid happened the day after recreational marijuana became legal across the state and was the first major […]

3M fined $312,000 following worker’s death at Wisconsin plant and other labor news

By: - November 10, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond. Maplewood-based 3M could have prevented a worker’s death at its southwestern Wisconsin manufacturing plant, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The worker, Trisha Jones, died in May after being caught in a machine’s rotating rollers while helping […]

Rep. Dean Phillips didn’t disclose real estate holding company

By: - November 3, 2023

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips didn’t disclose his sole membership in a real estate holding company that owns at least three properties, including his townhome in Washington, D.C. and a farmhouse estate in Virginia, according to The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger. The scrutiny of Phillips, who represents the Minneapolis suburbs and serves on the House Ethics […]

Non-union workers see pay bump following UAW victory, and other labor news

By: - November 3, 2023

Take a seat in the Break Room, our weekly round-up of labor news in Minnesota and beyond.  Toyota told workers they would be getting raises across its U.S. plants — all non-union — after the United Auto Workers union reached historic tentative agreements with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. The pay raises, first reported by […]