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I Was Fired: How Do I Get My Last Paycheck?

There is no shame in it; people get fired all the time, often for innocuous reasons. If it happens to you, there are a few things you should know, like how to get paid. Whether you are paid by the hour, salary, on commission, or some combination of those, your earned compensation that has not been paid is due immediately upon being fired. You are protected by Minnesota Statutes Section 181.13, which provides that unpaid wages or commissions must be paid within 24 hours or the employer will start to accrue a penalty. That penalty is a day’s wages or...
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The Right to Counsel in DUI Cases

In 1991, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that the Minnesota Constitution afforded all persons a right to counsel before submitting to a chemical test administered by a law enforcement officer under Minnesota’s Implied Consent Law.[1]  For drivers arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired, the Implied Consent Law provided law enforcement a powerful tool in coercing drivers to undergo testing: submit to the test or lose your license.  The Minnesota Supreme Court thought these circumstances called for at least the advice of counsel.  In sum, after a law enforcement officer read the implied consent advisory to a driver, that officer...
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I’m Adjudicated the Legal Father: Now What?

Execution of a Recognition of Parentage does not automatically establish custody or parenting time for the father; however, it does give the father the legal right to pursue a custody and parenting time action and ask for these rights. A court-ordered agreement will make sure your rights are protected. If you are unsure whether or not you want to initiate a custody and parenting case, consider a few of these reasons to pursue an action: • To make sure you get to spend time with your child. • To get notice if the mother wants to move out of state....
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Paternity: Am I the Legal Father?

In Minnesota, “paternity” is used to refer to the “legal father” of a child. The biological father is not always the legal father and only the legal father has the rights and responsibilities of a father under the law. Minnesota law requires a party to bring an action to establish a “legal father.” There is no question about who the mother is since she gave birth to the child. Because a father cannot be decided in the same way, the legal system waits for a signed Recognition of Parentage (ROP) or a court order that names a legal father. Only...
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Unemployment Compensation

AN EMPLOYEE IS ELIGIBLE FOR BENEFITS WHEN THE EMPLOYEE PERFORMS 50% OR MORE OF THEIR WORK IN MINNESOTA DURING THE BENEFITS QUARTER. An employer had two employees who performed work for the company in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. The employees were laid off and both applied for unemployment insurance benefits in Minnesota where they resided. The employees provided the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) with detailed records of their hours worked and in which state their services were performed. DEED determined that the employees were eligible for unemployment benefits for the quarters during which they “performed their...
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Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act

FIRING AN EMPLOYEE FOR REFUSING TO SHARE TIPS EXPOSES THE EMPLOYER TO A WRONGFUL DISCHARGE ACTION AND DAMAGES. An employer told an employee that he needed to share his tips with other employees. The employee refused, and the employer terminated his employment. The employee sued claiming that his employment was terminated in violation of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA). The trial court ruled that the MFLSA did not contemplate an action for wrongful discharge and that if the Legislature intended for employees to sue for wrongful discharge it would have included that language explicitly in the MFLSA. The...
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Non-Compete Agreements

INDEPENDENT CONSIDERATION IS REQUIRED IF A NON-COMPETITION AGREEMENT IS NOT ENTERED INTO AT THE BEGINNING OF OR ANCILLARY TO THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP. A prospective employee applied for a part-time position with a company. The applicant was offered and accepted a full-time job. The employer sent a letter confirming the employee’s acceptance of the position but did not mention that it wanted the employee to sign a non-compete agreement. The employee was not given the non-compete agreement until her first day of work. The employee left several years later to start a competing business, and the employer sued claiming she was...
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Changes to Calculation of Child Support in Minnesota

As of August 1, 2018, the method for calculating child support in Minnesota has changed. The goal of the change was to eliminate the perceived child support “cliff” that resulted from the parenting expense adjustment. Under the previous child support laws, which were enacted in 2007, child support was calculated based upon an “income shares” model. Under the “income shares” model, both parents’ gross incomes were added together to create a total parental income for determining child support. Each parent was then supposed to pay a percentage of the total child support obligation based upon his or her percentage of...
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12 Fast Facts Employers Need to Know to Comply with Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (DATWA)

Minnesota has one of the most vigorous workplace drug-testing laws in the country.  Here are 12 fast facts you need to know if you require testing of employees or job applicants: You must have a written drug and alcohol testing policy; You must provide written notice of the policy to all affected employees when the policy is initially adopted and when any employee who was previously unaffected by the policy transfers to a position affected by the policy, and to job applicants upon hire and before any testing is required if the job offer is contingent upon testing; You must...
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Workers’ compensation statistics indicate good news for injured workers and employers in Minnesota

According to the latest Minnesota Workers’ Compensation System Report, which was released by the Department of Labor and Industry in April, insurance premiums for the 2018 calendar year are down 51 percent as compared with 1996, and are currently the lowest since that year, which is a good sign for employers who continue to strive to their workers’ safety on the job. Statistically, current work injuries add up to about 4 compensable claims per 100 full-time workers, which is more than a half lower than it used to in 1996. Despite this decrease in injuries and claims, according to the...
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