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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits issued by the Court of Appeals today.  The decisions all stand for the proposition that employment misconduct will make an otherwise eligible applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits.  Without further ado, here is the summary:



1. A14-0659, DuWayne H. Fries, Relator, vs. Ozark Automotive Distributors, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the unemployment law judge’s (ULJ) decision that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct -- violating his employer's safety policy and guidelines for operating forklifts. He also moves to correct the record to include the corporate owner of his employer as a party to this matter. Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s decision that relator was discharged for employment misconduct, we affirm. Because substantial evidence demonstrates that relator was employed by respondent Ozark Automotive Distributor’s, Inc. (Ozark), we deny the motion to correct the record.

2. A14-0651, Murray Gushulak,Relator, vs. Boise Paper Holdings, LLC, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.

Murray Gushulak twice attempted to take a shortcut walking through an area near his employer’s crane operation that was cordoned off by red tape. He knew his encroachment violated company policy. His employer discharged him, and an unemployment law judge determined that he is ineligible for benefits. Because the unemployment law judge’s findings are supported by substantial evidence and because Gushulak’s willful disregard of company policy constitutes employment misconduct, we affirm.

3.  A14-0853, Michael Rahier, Relator, vs. Valley Markets, Inc. – Hugo’s, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this certiorari appeal, relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) conclusion that he was discharged for employment misconduct and ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The misconduct in this case was violating the employer's policies by using the back receiving door when he was not permitted to enter and exit using that door, consuming food on the sales floor, and working on unauthorized projects at home.  We affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.  




 
 
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There was one decision this week on attorney ethics and discipline from the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The case highlights the proposition that attorneys on probation for past disciplinary offenses will face more serious discipline if they commit another offense.

A14-0703, In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Barbara Ann Nimis, a Minnesota Attorney,Registration No. 235428.

While on probation for a prior disciplinary offense, attorney Nimis committed professional misconduct warranting public
discipline, namely, failing to comply with timelines regarding disputed personal property set forth in a judgment and decree, providing inaccurate information to a client with respect to the status of a matter, failing to comply with court rules regarding the filing of motions, failing to appear at a hearing, failing to provide notice to her client and the court that she had withdrawn from representation of a client, failing to return a client file and cooperate with successor counsel after withdrawing from representation, and failing to cooperate in the disciplinary process, in violation of Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.16(d), 3.4(c), 8.1(b), and 8.4(d), and Rule 25, Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility (RLPR).

As a result, the Minnesota Supreme Court suspended attorney Nimis indefinitely from the practice of law, with no right to petition for reinstatement for at least six months.

Tim represents attorneys facing professional discipline, and consults with attorneys about whether a particular situation or proposed course of conduct implicates the Rules of Professional Conduct.  When faced with a situation that may implicate the Rules of Professional Conduct, Tim always recommends that an attorney seek an advisory opinion from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. 

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

 
 
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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first two cases stand for the proposition that an applicant is ineligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant was discharged for employment misconduct.  The second case demonstrates that quitting a job without a good reason caused by the employer renders the applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits.

1. A14-0860, Jacqueline Crosser, Relator, vs. McAlpin Agency, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Jacqueline Crosser challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge that she was discharged for employment misconduct -- a "long-term pattern of poor attendance and tardiness" --  and is therefore ineligible for unemployment benefits. Because substantial evidence supports the unemployment-law judge’s decision, we affirm.


2. A14-1193, Lonn H. Luhman, Relator, vs. Red Wing Shoe Co., Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.


Relator challenges the determination of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct. Because we find that substantial evidence supports the ULJ’s determination that relator committed employment misconduct by failing to appear for work as
scheduled under the company’s no-fault attendance policy, we affirm.

3.  A14-0469, Barbara Jackson, Relator, vs. Direct Home Health Care, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.


Relator Barbara Jackson challenges the determination of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she quit her employment without a good reason caused by the employer. Relator also argues that the ULJ failed to apply the specific definition of “quit” for employees of a staffing service to
relator’s case and failed to develop the record. We affirm.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.  


 
 
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Tim is teaching a FREE seminar on Landlord-Tenant Law, including evictions, security deposits, and abandoned tenant property.  The seminar will be held from noon - 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday 1/28/2015 at Tim's office, 2140-4th Avenue, Anoka MN 55303.  This seminar is geared for landlords, property managers, and attorneys who represent them, but is also applicable for tenants, tenant-rights' organizations, and tenant attorneys.  ATTORNEYS: The seminar has been approved for one standard CLE credit.  The event code is 200646.

Space is limited, so advance registration is required.  To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/evictions-security-deposits-abandoned-tenant-property-and-landlord-tenant-law-tickets-15252316088

 
 
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There was one decision this week on attorney discipline from the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The case highlights the proposition that an attorney will be disbarred for misappropriating client funds and engaging in fraudulent conduct.  Here is the summary:

Al3-0435, In re Petition for Disciplinary Action against Tedman John Heim, a Minnesota Attorney,Registration No. 286047.

In this case, the attorney committed multiple acts of misconduct, namely, misappropriation of client funds, forgery of a client's signature on a settlement check, engaging in a pattern of false statements to his client and his law partner to conceal the misappropriation, submission of misleading documents to a court and opposing counsel, failure to deposit client funds into a trust account, failure to keep required trust account books and records,making unauthorized personal charges on his law firm's business credit card, and beingconvicted of a felony charge of check forgery/falsely endorsing a check, in violation of Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 1.4(a), 1.15(a), 1.15(c)(3), 1.15(c)(4), 1.15(h), 3.3(a), 4.1, 8.4(b), 8.4(c), and 8.4(d).

After a hearing, the referee recommended disbarment, and the parties stipulated (agreed) that disbarment was the appropriate discipline.  Accordingly, the attorney was disbarred.

Tim represents attorneys facing professional discipline, and consults with attorneys about whether a particular situation or proposed course of conduct implicates the Rules of Professional Conduct.  When faced with a situation that may implicate the Rules of Professional Conduct, Tim always recommends that an attorney seek an advisory opinion from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. 

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation. 

 
 
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This week there was one decision on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The case highlights the law that an applicant is not eligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant was discharged for employment misconduct, unless an exception applies.  Without further ado, here is the summary:


A14-1168, Keith G. Lassiter, Relator, vs. The Bulldog Restaurant NE, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development,Respondent.

Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he was discharged for employment misconduct, arguing that (1) the ULJ failed to make the required credibility findings, (2) the evidence does not substantially support the ULJ’s findings, (3) the ULJ failed to adequately develop the record, and (4) his conduct reflects only an error in judgment.

Relator worked as a bouncer, and the misconduct in this case was physically touching a customer in violation of his employer's policy.  Relator had previously violated the no-contact policy and had been disciplined for it.  As such, the ULJ found that Relator had committed employment misconduct, and was not eligible for unemployment benefits.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the denial.

If you are denied unemployment benefits, or are an employer who wants to challenge a former employee's eligibility for benefits, your best bet is to meet with an attorney who handles unemployment appeals to discuss your options.  To that end, I represent both applicants and employers in unemployment appeals.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  Also, Tim is licensed only in state and federal courts in Minnesota.  As such, any information provided in this blog post pertains only to those jurisdictions.  Further, you should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.  

 
 
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If you’re out of work, the first question you may have is whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits.  The answer depends on whether you were laid off, fired, or quit.  Regardless, you should apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible after losing or leaving a job.

LAID OFF OR FIRED: If you were laid off or fired, and assuming that you meet all of the other eligibility criteria, you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits unless you were laid off or fired because of employment misconduct.  Employment misconduct as “any intentional, negligent, or indifferent conduct, on the job or off the job that displays clearly (1.) a serious violation of the standards of behavior the employer has the right to reasonably expect of the employee; or (2.) a substantial lack of concern for the employment.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 6(a).   So, unless you were laid off or fired for employment misconduct, and assuming that all of the other eligibility criteria are met, you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

QUIT: However, if you quit a job, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits unless you had good reason to quit caused by the employer, even if you meet all of the other criteria for eligibility.  A “good reason to quit caused by the employer” is  defined as “a reason (a.) that is directly related to the employment and for which the employer is responsible; (b.) that is adverse to the worker; and (c.) that would compel an average, reasonable worker to quit and become unemployed rather than remaining in the employment.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 3(a).  So, if you quit, you are generally ineligible to receive unemployment benefits unless you had good reason to quit caused by the employer.

APPEALS: After you apply for unemployment benefits, Unemployment Insurance Minnesota (“UIMN”) will issue a determination of whether or not you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits.  If either the employer or applicant is not satisfied with UIMN’s initial determination, that party may appeal the determination.  There are three stages in the appeal process.

First, an Unemployment Law Judge (“ULJ”) presides over an evidentiary hearing, usually conducted by telephone.  At the evidentiary hearing, the parties present evidence about a former employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.  For example, if an employee was fired, the former employer would attempt to show that the employee was fired for employment misconduct, and vice versa.  The ULJ will make findings of fact and determine whether the applicant is eligible for unemployment benefits.

Second, if either the employer or applicant is not satisfied with the ULJ’s determination, that party can file a Request for Reconsideration (“RFR”) with the same ULJ.  The RFR must allege that factual errors, errors of law, or procedural errors were made at the evidentiary hearing.  The ULJ will then review the evidence presented at the evidentiary hearing and decide whether any errors occurred.  After reviewing the evidentiary hearing, the ULJ will then issue an order either affirming, reversing, or re-opening the evidentiary hearing.

Third, a party not satisfied with the outcome of the Request for Reconsideration can appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  Generally, the Court of Appeals will defer to the findings and determinations made by the ULJ, unless the ULJ clearly made an error of law, the hearing violated the applicant’s constitutional rights, or a procedural error occurred.  Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 7(d).

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you want to appeal UIMN’s initial determination of eligibility or ineligibility, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible because you only have a limited amount of time in which to appeal.  Generally, you want to prevail at the evidentiary hearing because winning at the subsequent stages of the appeal process is much more difficult, largely because the subsequent appeals are reviews of what happened at the evidentiary hearing.  For this reason,  I strongly recommend hiring an attorney to represent you at the evidentiary hearing rather than later in the appeal process.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents both applicants and employers at the evidentiary hearing and throughout the appeals process.  Please call (763) 450-9494 today to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is only licensed in state and federal courts in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not be applicable to other juris  Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C.  You should always discuss your situation with an attorney before taking any action based on what you may read in this blog.  To that end, please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.