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Joseph A. Gangi

Newsworthy Category

Who Owns the Dog?

Let’s say you own a dog named Oliver. You love this dog very much but move away for school, so you ask a friend to keep him. Your friend agrees. When you return from school two years later, you ask for Oliver back, but your friend refuses to return Oliver to you. Whose dog is it? This fact situation is actually quite common in our society. The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently decided this very issue in the case Zephier v. Agate. The question turned on whether Oliver was “abandoned” property in the legal sense. As a general rule, property...
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New Federal Legislation Requires Paid Time Off Related to COVID-19

On March 18, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which imposes obligations on many employers to provide temporary paid benefits to employees. There are two separate laws which impose obligations on those employers who employ less than 500 employees. Therefore, this law impacts many small businesses. Paid Medical Leave The first new law is called the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act. Basically, it is Emergency FMLA. But unlike normal FMLA requirements, this Emergency FMLA applies to employers with less than 500 employees and employees who have worked at their place of employment for 30 or more calendar...
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Minnesota’s Slow-Poke Law

You may have heard of the new “slow-poke” law which is advertised as prohibiting people from driving slow in the left lane. Not quite. The new law reads: “Upon a roadway with more than one lane in the same direction of travel, a person must move out of the left-most lane to allow another vehicle to pass, when practicable under existing conditions.” Thus, the law does not set a minimum speed for the left lane, but rather requires persons to get out of the left lane to allow another vehicle to pass – so long as it is practicable to...
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Farrish Johnson Attorneys Recognized Among Top 5% of Minnesota Lawyers

Two Farrish Johnson Law Office attorneys, Scott V. Kelly and William S. Partridge, have been named “Super Lawyers” for 2019.  This prestigious award from Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, recognizes them to be among the top 5% of all lawyers in Minnesota. Scott and Will, trial lawyers practicing in personal injury litigation, business disputes and construction law, have received this distinction every year for the last 19 years! Additionally, three attorneys with Farrish Johnson Law Office, Daniel J. Bellig, Joseph A. Gangi and Amy E. Sauter, were recognized as “Rising Stars”. This distinction is given to the top 2.5% of...
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Minnesota’s New Hands-Free Law – What You Need to Know

Beginning August 1, 2019, Minnesota will become a “hand-free” state. Although Minnesota law already prohibited texting, emailing, and browsing while driving, drivers could still use a cell phone to make calls and do other things. The new law brings significant change. Here is what you need to know. The new general rule is that a driver may no longer use a cell phone when their vehicle is in motion or part of traffic to do the following: The driver cannot initiate, compose, send, retrieve, or ever read an electronic message. The driver cannot engage in cell phone calls, cannot initiate...
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Representing Daycares and Daycare Directors

Continuing his representation of daycares and daycare directors, Attorney Joseph A. Gangi recently obtained a dismissal of all criminal charges brought against a daycare director in Rice County who DHS says committed billing fraud. The district court judge found that there was no probable cause to support criminal charges and dismissed the case. This case comes after Mr. Gangi’s landmark decision in Kind Heart Daycare v. Commissioner of Human Services, where the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed that DHS was not properly interpreting the applicable criminal statute governing billing fraud. For more information on these issues, please contact Mr. Gangi at...
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Minnesota legislature to address sexual harassment standard in the workplace

Many Minnesotans find themselves victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, but powerless to stop it. Generally, there are two types of sexual harassment claims: “quid pro quo” and “hostile work environment.” In the quid pro quo situation, an employee must show that submission to unwelcome advances was conditioned on receiving job benefits, or perhaps that refusal to submit to such advances resulted in some kind of adverse job action. The second type of claim arises in the hostile work environment situation. This is where an employee is subject to lewd comments or jokes, repeated requests for dates or favors,...
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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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Witness to History: 2013

In 2013 the Speechless Film Festival began in Mankato, MN. The Festival is presented by Bethany Lutheran College each year and showcases the work of local and international artists. Also in 2013, Jospeh Gangi joined the firm and first received the North Star Lawyers Award for the Minnesota State Bar Association for his commitment to pro bono service. Speechless Film Festival Speechless Film Festival is a 3-day multimedia event that showcases local and international artists. Created in 2013, the festival is presented by Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato and is the only international, independent film festival in or around Mankato....
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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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