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The Modern Workplace

The Modern Workplace

Posts in Unemployment.

In the continued wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous states have recently taken steps, through either new legislation or executive orders issued by governors, to expand both workers compensation and unemployment benefits in circumstances tied to COVID-19. We highlight Minnesota developments as examples.

Workers Compensation Benefits for Essential Workers:  

Newly enacted legislation in Minnesota creates a presumption of workers compensation coverage for various categories of workers who contract COVID-19. Categories of covered workers include first responders ...
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In a recent ruling, the White case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that an employee who has been terminated for misconduct caused by mental illness, such as depression, may nevertheless be eligible for Minnesota unemployment benefits.   Notably, the Court also ruled that an unemployment judge has an affirmative duty to help such a claimant present relevant evidence if the claimant is unrepresented by counsel.

The Minnesota unemployment law generally provides that employees terminated through no fault of their own are entitled to benefits.  Individuals who voluntarily quit ...

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When I'm not lawyering, I like to spend time around horses. That sometimes means spending time observing the habits of horse barn owners and other operators of small agricultural facilities. For an employment lawyer, its scary out there on the farm. If you read the help wanted ads on horse industry list serves and web sites, or peruse the bulletin boards at feed stores, or talk to stable and farm owners, you'll quickly conclude that unlawful employment practices are common and that compliance is not a big concern.
Agricultural workers and non-agricultural workers are treated ...
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Posted in Unemployment
Legislative efforts at the state and federal level, particularly those related to efforts to stimulate the economy, have changed the length of time that unemployment benefits are available. They also created significant variation in the length of benefits among the states, making it difficult to keep track of what terminated employees can expect and what employers are responsible for around the country. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article (subscription may be required) on the quantity of benefits available in different states. Currently, the newly unemployed in ...
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The Minnesota Legislature is in full swing, and as always, employers will want to monitor the proposals under consideration at the Capitol. Bills that may impact employers include:

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Agencies employing personal care assistants (PCAs) might want to up their unemployment insurance coverage. For the second time in recent months, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has struck down a law that precludes family members who act as PCAs from obtaining certain benefits. In the case of Weir v. ACCRA Care, Inc., the court determined that a statutory prohibition preventing immediate-family-member PCAs from obtaining unemployment benefits is unconstitutional. The court made a similar ruling in December of 2012 in Healthstar Home Health, Inc. v. Jesson. In that case, a ...
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Using technology can come at a cost. You don't have to read too many of these Week in Review posts to know that it is not uncommon for individuals to be fired for inappropriate use of email, social media, cell phones, or other means of electronic communication.  Past stories have also shown how technology can cost someone their reputation, money, or freedom from incarceration. This week, we add two items to the list of things that technology can put at risk: unemployment benefits, and your health.
An employee in Pennsylvania was fired for criticizing his place of employment and coworkers on ...
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Do you have employment or severance agreements (or any other deferred compensation plan) that require employees to sign a release, noncompetition or nonsolicitation agreement before post-termination payments are made? If so, you may have a problem, and you may only have until the end of 2012 to avoid potentially significant tax penalties.
Many employment severance agreements (and other agreements providing deferred compensation to employees) require employees to sign a release of claims against the employer before payments are made. Sometimes there is also a requirement that ...
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A new provision of the Minnesota unemployment statute became effective July 1. Enacted by the 2012 legislature, the new language could have an impact on Minnesota employers and employees, but just what that effect might be is not -- to be charitable -- entirely clear.

It is not unusual for an employer to enter into an agreement with the departing employee under which the employee releases potential claims against the employer. To make such an agreement enforceable in a court of law, the employer must provide the departing employee something of value that, without the agreement, the ...

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