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Elder Abuse Continues to be a Problem in Minnesota

Instances of physical abuse and neglect, as well as financial abuse and exploitation of Minnesota’s communities of elderly and vulnerable adults continue to prevail. Whether it be assisted living or nursing home staff, in-home caregivers, or family members charged with the physical and financial care of elderly and vulnerable adults, it is thought that as many 1 in 10 American’s over the age of 60 can experience some form of elder abuse during their lifetime. This high number is largely based on the statistic that only about 1 in every 14 cases of elder abuse are actually reported. According to...
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Free Estate Planning Seminar

Join us on Thursday, March 14 at 10 am at the Madelia Library for a FREE seminar on estate planning! We will discuss the following topics: Wills Trusts Probate vs. Non-Probate Healthcare Directives Transfer on Death Deeds  Estate Tax Planning Solutions Charitable Gift Planning Medical Assistance Minnesota Farm Estate Tax Exception And More! Refreshments will be provided.  This event is open to the public.  Invite your friends! CALL 507-625-2525 TO RSVP TODAY! See you at the Library on March 14!  

Can I be fired for that? “At will” employment and the myth of wrongful termination

The term “wrongful termination” is kind of a misnomer. Most employment in Minnesota is considered “at will” which means an employee can be terminated at any time for just about any reason – or even no reason at all. The catch, however, is that employment cannot be terminated for “illegal” reasons. An illegal reason includes: termination based on a protected class status (i.e., race, gender, religion, disability, age); termination for reporting a violation of law (whistleblowing); termination for filing a work comp case; termination in violation of contractual terms. It may be “wrong” to terminate employment because you showed up...
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Presumed Guilty: Issuing a Dishonored Check

About 4 in 5 Americans live paycheck to paycheck, just one financial mishap from potential disaster. In Minnesota, that disaster can include criminal liability. When Minnesotans issue a check to a government agency, from their local county license center to the Department of Revenue, they can expect prosecution if the check bounces. And even if it was an accident, the current state of the law will presume they are guilty, potentially of a felony. Under Minnesota Statutes Section 609.535, a person who intentionally issues a check that later bounces is guilty of a felony if the check was more than...
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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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