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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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The Standard of Review on Appeal – Explained Through Football!

Most football fans are familiar with the red “challenge flag.” The head coach of a football team keeps a special red flag with him throughout the game. If the head coach disagrees with a call, he will throw the red challenge flag onto the field. The referees then use instant replay to determine whether the ruling on the field will stand as called, or be reversed. But it is not as simple as getting a “second bite” at making the correct call. A decision was made by an official with a unique view of the field, and that call is...
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Payment of Wages Following Termination of Employment

Under Minnesota law, you are entitled to prompt payment of wages after leaving employment. If you have been terminated from employment, you have the right to demand all wages or commissions actually earned and unpaid at the time of discharge. Once a demand is made, the employer has 24 hours to pay these wages or commissions. If you quit employment, your wages are generally due on your regularly scheduled payday. If your employer fails to make payment when due, you have the right to demand payment and the employer must comply within 24 hours after the demand. In either case,...
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Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Repetitive Trauma and Overuse Injuries

If your job requires you to do a lot of repetitive activities, such as gripping tools, reaching for objects, twisting, turning, bending, working overhead, or doing other movements in excess of what you would expect to be doing in your natural environment, you may notice that, over time, your body parts involved in those frequent repetitive activities start becoming painful or difficult to use. For example, you may notice that your right shoulder starts to lose its range of motion or that it is painful to reach overhead, or your back starts bothering you with lifting, or that your knees...
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Estate Planning Still Necessary

With the doubling of the Federal estate tax exemption, the number of tax payers required to file a Federal estate tax return will drop substantially. However, estate planning and review of existing plans is important. The most important object of estate planning has always been to provide a thoughtful plan for property distribution, avoiding the arbitrary rules of each state’s intestacy statutes. Minnesota, along with many other states, imposes an estate tax with a far smaller exemption than provided for by the Federal exemption. Many estate plans for married couples routinely used formulas to distribute property between a Marital Trust...
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