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There was only one decision this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The decision stands for the proposition that an applicant commits unemployment misconduct by punching another employee in the head and causing that employee to have a concussion. Still, the decision was remanded in part for specific findings on whether the conduct in question constituted aggravated misconduct. Without further ado, here is the summary:

A16-0050: Debra Barrett, Relator, vs. Jourdain/Perpich Extended Care Facility, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

In this unemployment-compensation appeal, relator challenges a determination by an unemployment-law judge (ULJ) on reconsideration that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was discharged from her employment for employment misconduct. The misconduct in question was punching another employee in the head and causing that employee to have a concussion.

The Court of Appeals upheld the determination by the unemployment law judge that the conduct in question was employment misconduct, but rain remanded the case  back to the Department of Employment and Economic Development for a determination by the unemployment law judge whether the  misconduct was aggravated and could be a crime under Minnesota law.

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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I am often asked if a person can get Social Security disability benefits if that person is under the age of 50 years old. If you are over 50 but not yet retirement age, Social Security basically considers you un-trainable, and you have a better chance of receiving disability benefits. You might be able to get disability benefits if you are close to 50, because Social Security considers that you are rapidly approaching age 50 (where you are supposedly untrainable).

The short answer is yes, it is possible for a person to get Social Security disability if that person is under the age of 50, but it is very difficult. There are two primary ways that a person who is under the age of 50 can get disability benefits.

First, if the applicant meets a listing for Social Security disability, Social Security will consider the applicant to be disabled, regardless of age, and will award benefits. Social Security has certain listings or criteria for considering someone to be disabled. If you meet the requirements of a listing, Social Security will consider you disabled, even if you are under the age of 50.  However, you must meet the requirements and criteria of a listing exactly, and the listings are very stringent. As a result, very few people who are under the age of 50 will meet the requirements of a listing.

Second, a person who is under the age of 50 may "grid." Social security uses a grid or table to decide if an applicant is disabled. Social Security will consider the applicant's age, skill level of past work, and something called residual functional capacity (basically meaning the skill level and type of work that an applicant is now capable of performing). However, most of the time, the grid will direct a finding that an applicant who is under the age of 50 is not disabled.

For all of these reasons, it is very difficult – although not impossible – for an applicant under the age of 50 to be awarded disability benefits. Such an applicant should expect that the initial application and request for reconsideration will be denied, and that the applicant will have to appeal and have the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ for short.

If the ALJ denies the application for disability benefits, the applicant should be prepared to appeal to the Appeals Council if necessary, and recommended by the applicant's attorney. The next step in the appeals process beyond the Appeals Council is suing the Social Security administration in Federal District Court.

I would recommend that an applicant for Social Security disability benefits hire an attorney for the initial application and ensuing appeals process. The applicant should be patient, because the appeals process may very well take one, two, three, or more years to complete.

Baland Law Office, P.L.L.C. represents applicants for social security benefits at all stages of the application and appeals process.  Please call (763) 450-9494 to set up an initial consultation to discuss your case and options.

WARNING: The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice and may not be applicable to your situation.  Tim is licensed to practice law only in Minnesota, and the information contained in this blog post may not apply to jurisdictions outside of Minnesota.  Further, 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.






 
 
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There were no decisions issued this week on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Usually, this means there are several cases that will be issued in the near future.

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 were no decisions on unemployment benefits issued today by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  This usually means that a whole slew of cases will be forthcoming.

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 were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week issued by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The second case is unique because the Relator is represented by an attorney, which is always a good idea when appealing to the Court of Appeals.  The third case is unique because the Department of Employment and Economic Development requested reversal, admitting that the hearing was not fair.

1. A15-0433, Leola Banks, Relator, vs. Regions Hospital, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Leola Banks’s supervisor discharged Banks from her employment at Regions Hospital after Banks signed prescription-drug order forms as a licensed pharmacist even though she was not a licensed pharmacist. Banks appeals from an unemployment-law judge’s determination that she is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because she was discharged for employment misconduct. Because Banks’s misrepresenting herself as a pharmacist to order drugs constitutes employment misconduct, we affirm. 

2. A15-0305, Paul Hecimovich, Relator, vs. Always There Staffing, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Paul Hecimovich quit his job as a scrap-iron laborer after one week because his boss yelled at him. An unemployment-law judge (ULJ) determined that Hecimovich is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he quit his employment and the statutory 30-day unsuitability exception does not apply. Hecimovich appeals, arguing that because his employment was unsuitable under Minnesota Statutes section 268.035, subdivision 23a (2014), he need not show that the reason he quit his job was its unsuitability

Hecimovich did not quit his job because it was unsuitable. He quit because it was intolerable to his personal sensibilities. In Wiley v. Robert Half Int’l, Inc., we recognized that the word “because” in the 30-day unsuitability exception establishes that the statute requires an applicant to show a causal relationship between the job’s unsuitability and the applicant’s reason for quitting. 834 N.W.2d 567, 570–71 (Minn. App. 2013). Although the employment’s unsuitability need not be the sole or even the primary reason why the employee quit, it must be one reason. Id. at 571.

Hecimovich’s only reason for quitting was his boss’s yelling at him. The yelling is unrelated to the job’s unsuitability under the statute, and Hecimovich therefore does not establish the required causal relationship. Hecimovich’s counsel conceded at oral argument that reversing the ULJ’s eligibility determination would require us to overturn our decision in Wiley. We decline the invitation to do so.  Accordingly, we affirm the ULJ’s determination.

3.  A15-0703, Patrick H. Horan, Relator, v. Centerline Charter Corp., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Patrick H. Horan challenges a decision by an unemployment-law judge, affirmed on reconsideration, determining him ineligible for unemployment benefits. Respondent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (the department) has filed a letter requesting reversal of the unemployment-law judge’s decision. Horan’s employer, respondent Centerline Charter Corp., has not filed an appellate brief or a response to the department’s letter. Because we agree with the department that the unemployment-law judge did not provide a fair hearing to Horan and that the unemployment-law judge’s decision is not supported by the evidence in the record, we reverse.

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 were three decisions on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday 8/31/15.  The first two cases stand for the proposition that an applicant for unemployment benefits must be available for suitable employment.  The first case is unique because it was reversed.  The third case was affirmed, and is a fairly typical misconduct case where the applicant was found ineligible for unemployment benefits because of employment misconduct.

1. A15-0072 Michelle Davidsavor, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent

Relator raises procedural and substantive challenges to an unemployment-law judge’s decision that she was ineligible for unemployment benefits.  The Appeals Court ruled that "[t]he situation did not demand greater procedural protections than Davidsavor received; therefore, the ULJ’s decision was not made upon unlawful procedure or in violation of constitutional provisions."  However, the Appeals Court 'conclude[d] that the ULJ’s finding that Davidsavor was not available for and actively seeking suitable employment after August 31, 2014, is “unsupported by substantial evidence in view of the entire record as submitted.”'  As such, the Appeals Court reversed the determination that Davidsavior was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

2. A15-0053 Ahmed Ghanim, Relator, vs. FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Services, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Ahmed Ghanim challenges the unemployment-law judge’s determination that he was ineligible for benefits because he was not actively seeking suitable employment. Because substantial evidence in the record supports the unemployment-law judge’s determination, we affirm.

3. A15-0096 Courtney Paulson, Relator, vs. General Nutrition Center, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator Courtney Paulson challenges an unemployment-law judge’s determination that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits. Because substantial evidence supports the unemployment-law judge’s conclusion that Paulson committed employment misconduct.  The misconduct in this case consisted of providing falsified "cycle reports" to the employer and causing the employer financial loss for her personal gain.  As a result, the Appeals Court affirmed the determination of ineligibility.

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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The Minnesota Court of Appeals did not release any decisions on employment benefits today, Monday 6/1/15.  Instead, I am summarizing the decisions issued in the past two weeks.

May 18, 2015: A14-1811 Anita P. Doering, Relator, vs. Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the determinations of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ), arguing that the ULJ’s findings that she had fraudulently received unemployment benefits were not supported by substantial evidence and that relator did not fraudulently fail to report her hours and earnings.   We affirm.

May 26, 2015: A14-2092 Ahmed Ghanim, Relator, vs. FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Services, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge’s (ULJ) determination that he is ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because he quit his employment without a good reason caused by his employer.  In this case, relator quit because "the job became too difficult for him" due to health concerns which he did not report to his employer. 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 were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first two cases are fairly typical because the affirm the rules (1.) that committing employment misconduct makes an applicant ineligible for unemployment benefits and (2.) quitting a job without good reason caused by the employer makes an applicant ineligible, unless that applicant meets an exception to the ineligibility rules.  The third case is unique because the applicant was represented by an attorney and the decision was reversed, but the reversal resulted in a denial of unemployment benefits.

1. A14-1303: Janvier LeViege, Relator, vs. U.S. Postal Service (FIC 732/Dest 1), Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges an unemployment-law judge’s decision that relator is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she was terminated from employment for misconduct after twice failing to comply with the employer’s policy for reporting unscheduled absences. Relator argues that (1) she did not commit misconduct because the absences were covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and she complied with the FMLA’s reporting requirements; and (2) an additional hearing should have been allowed because she did not receive one of the employer’s exhibits until the hearing date. We affirm.

2. A14-1385: Angela Hofmann, Relator, vs. Minnesota Department of Health, Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Angela Hofmann was a health department employee who quit her job after she could no longer meet the travel obligations of her position and her supervisor offered her 2 an extended medical leave of absence. The department of employment and economic development determined that Hofmann is ineligible for unemployment benefits because she did not fall into any exception to the statutory voluntary-quit disqualification provision, which provides that an applicant might be eligible for unemployment benefits if that applicant informs the employer of her disability and requests a reasonable accommodation, but the employer denied the request. Because Hofmann’s employer offered a reasonable accommodation based on the information Hofmann provided, we hold that the medical-necessity exception does not apply and we affirm.

3.  A14-1786: Jolene Van Wyhe, Relator, vs. Thermospas Hot Tub Products, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relater Jolene Van Wyhe brings a certiorari appeal of a determination that she is ineligible for unemployment benefits, arguing that the unemployment-law judge erred by concluding that she performed services 32 hours per week. Van Wyhe also asserts that the unemployment-law judge’s 2012 decision, which found Van Wyhe eligible for benefits under identical circumstances, collaterally estops him from now finding her ineligible. Van Wyhe further urges this court to reverse a fraud determination. Because an employee who is on call away from the worksite for 32 hours per week but not working is not “performing services” under the statute, we reverse, but do not determine the fraud issue because it is not properly before the Appeals Court.

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 on unemployment benefits from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The decision underscores the rule that quitting a job without good reason caused by the employer makes an otherwise eligible applicant for unemployment benefits ineligible for those benefits.  The Court of Appeals will affirm factual findings of the Unemployment Law Judge ("ULJ") if those findings are supported by substantial evidence.

A14-1684, Lorraine Rosenthal, Relator, vs. Cardinal of Minnesota, Ltd., Respondent, Department of Employment & Economic Development, Respondent.


Relator Lorraine Rosenthal challenges the denial of her claim for unemployment benefits on the ground that the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) erred in determining that she quit her employment and was therefore ineligible to receive unemployment benefits, even though she had voluntarily retired. Because the ULJ’s factual findings are substantially sustained by the evidence in 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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There were three decisions on unemployment benefits this week from the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  The first two cases deal with employment misconduct that makes an applicant ineligible to receive unemployment benefits.  The third addresses the issue of whether payments received from a former employer that are unrelated to the reason for termination meet the statutory definition of severance payments that delay the receipt of unemployment benefits.

1. A14-1269, Dan Delk, III, Relator, vs. Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. (Corp.), Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.

Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct, arguing that he did not commit misconduct by failing to work two scheduled shifts after his Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave ended. We affirm.

2. A14-1040, Paul C. Stepnes, Relator, vs. HOM Furniture, 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 misconduct.  The misconduct in this case was angrily confronting supervisors and co-workers on at least two occasions. We affirm.

3.  A14-1593, Robert R. Adams, Relator, vs. Select Communications, Inc., Respondent, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Respondent.


Robert R. Adams was deemed temporarily ineligible for unemployment benefits because he received a separation payment from his former employer. He argues that his period of ineligibility should be limited because most of the money included in the separation payment is unrelated to his termination. We conclude that the entire separation payment is within the statutory definition of severance pay and, thus, 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.