St. Paul, Minnesota Terroristic Threats Statute

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The Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute punishes anyone who “threatens, directly or indirectly, to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.” The offense is a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison.   In order to convict someone under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute, the state must prove that the defendant: Threatened to commit a crime of violence; and Made that threat with either Specific intent to cause extreme fear in another, or Reckless disregard of the risk that it would have that effect. THE MOST COMMONLY SEEN THREAT THAT LEADS TO A CHARGE OF TERRORISTIC THREATS IS A THREAT TO KILL SOMEONE. During an argument – domestic or otherwise – if a person tells someone, “I’m going to kill you,” or “You make me so mad, I could kill you sometimes,” or any type of similar threat to commit a crime of violence, the speaker will almost certainly face a charge of Terroristic Threats under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute. Speaker’s Intent and Defense Charges of Terroristic Threats The speakers’ intent and the context in which the threat was made both be a defense to a charge of terroristic threats. As noted above, the state has to prove that the speaker made the threat with either a specific intent to cause extreme fear in another or with reckless disregard of the risk of causing extreme fear in another. The context in which the threat was made is a factor in determining the speaker’s intent. In State v. Balster, the Minnesota Court of Appeals noted that the context in which it is uttered determines whether the speaker intends the literal meaning or a harmless expression of anger, frustration, or annoyance. This is sometimes referred to as “transitory anger.” “TRANSITORY ANGER” IS NOT FOUND IN THE MINNESOTA TERRORISTIC THREATS STATUTE, BUT IT IS A PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE CRIME OF TERRORISTIC THREATS IN MINNESOTA. Prior cases have concluded that the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute is designed to punish threats that are “more serious than would be covered by petty offenses like disorderly conduct or breach of the peace.” The statute is not intended to apply to “the kind of verbal threat which expresses transitory anger rather than [the] settled purpose to carry out the threat or to terrorize the other person.” Most Terroristic Threats charges will turn on whether the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant made the threat with the required intent to make the subject of the threat extremely fearful.   The defendant, through his or her lawyer, would most certainly urge the jury that the speaker’s threat was a harmless expression of anger, frustration, or annoyance. CONTACT US Contact our Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation if you or someone you know if facing a charge under the Minnesota Terroristic Threats statute.   We’ve had terroristic threats charges dismissed for clients. We know how to defend against this charge.

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How Do I Maximize My Workers’ Comp Settlement in Minnesota?

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Injuries happen in the workplace every day. Some injuries that appear insignificant can leave you with lasting health problems and require extensive rehabilitation. But it might be difficult to determine the extent of your injuries when you file for workers’ comp through your employer. Below are some workers’ compensation tips to help you maximize your workers’ comp settlement and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.  Keep Track of Your Medical Records and Attend All Scheduled Appointments Even if you believe your injuries don’t require medical attention, you still need to visit a doctor after a workplace injury. You should schedule your doctor’s appointment right away. Insurance companies and employers will use delays in medical treatment to lower your workers’ comp claim by questioning the extent and severity of your injuries. Doctor visits provide important paper trails that will help you prove the cost of your medical treatment and rehabilitation. Your doctor will assess the full range of your injuries and help you calculate the full extent of your medical treatment, including any future treatments and ongoing rehabilitation. Your doctor will provide you with a detailed description of your injuries and the recommended treatment. Additionally, make sure you follow all recommended medical treatments. If you fail to follow your doctor’s advice, your employer or the insurance company can use this information against you. Beware of Insurance Companies Insurance companies will try to minimize the amount they pay for any workers’ comp claim. If an insurance adjuster contacts you after your injury, they will likely promise you immediate payment, but the amount will undervalue the cost of your injuries. Do not accept the initial offer. Instead, wait to negotiate until you receive medical treatment and speak with a qualified workers’ comp attorney. You should also wait to meet with the insurance adjuster until you have legal representation. Often, insurance adjusters will record your meeting and use your answers against you. Your attorney can help guide you through this meeting and protect your interests.  What Should I Do If I Disagree with My Workers’ Comp Payment Amount? Employers and insurance companies normally want to pay as little as possible for workers’ comp claims. Although the amount they offer may cover up-front medical costs, it might not be enough to cover all future medical treatment and other injury-related expenses.  Calculating workers’ comp amounts can be confusing and difficult. An experienced workers’ comp attorney understands these calculations and how to prove the value of your claim. Before agreeing to any workers’ comp payment, you should first consult with an attorney to make sure you get a fair offer.  Contact a Qualified Workers’ Comp Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace injury, you deserve fair compensation. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have extensive experience handling our clients’ workers’ comp claims. We believe you should focus on recovering from your injuries, not on fighting to receive fair compensation. We will work diligently and fight for your interests. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you with support and guidance throughout the claims process. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-505-5943 or fill out an online form today. 

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What to Know Before a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing in St. Paul

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Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It takes place prior to a hearing in court to try to resolve issues and agree on a settlement. Workers’ comp mediation hearings generally take between two and four hours but can be shorter or longer depending on the facts of your case and the attitude of the parties involved. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury and are considering mediation, a workers’ comp lawyer can help you through the mediation process and negotiate for the settlement you deserve. What Happens at a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing? A workers’ comp mediation hearing takes place at either the mediator’s office, one of the attorneys’ offices, or a neutral office. Parties who attend workers’ comp mediation hearings include: You, Your attorney, The mediator, The workers’ compensation insurer’s attorney, and The workers’ compensation insurance adjuster. You may also have your spouse, a close family member or friend attend to support you. After arriving for the mediation, both parties are sent to separate conference rooms. The mediator begins by making an opening statement outlining the goals for the mediation and his or her role in the process. You and your attorney will then have a chance to outline the key points of your case.  After outlining your arguments, the workers’ compensation insurance company will begin by making an offer and you will have the chance to counteroffer. All offers and counteroffers are made to the mediator, who then relays the information to the other party. This process will repeat throughout the mediation until you either agree on a settlement amount or decide you no longer want to continue the mediation. How Should I Prepare for a Workers’ Comp Mediation Hearing? To prepare for your workers’ comp mediation hearing, you should first meet with your attorney. You should discuss the facts of your case and the medical and legal issues involved. It is also important to discuss the arguments you want your attorney to make during the mediation and the strengths and weaknesses of those arguments. Prior to the mediation, your attorney will submit documents so that the mediator understands the facts of the case, the issues involved, and the amount of compensation you wish to receive. You may need to get your attorney certain records, such as medical or employment records, to support the documents submitted by your attorney. On the day of the mediation, you should make sure you are well-rested, arrive on time, dress professionally, and are polite to all parties involved. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer? Because most workers’ compensation claims that go to mediation are complex, you should hire a workers’ comp lawyer. A workers’ comp lawyer will help you provide a detailed analysis of your workers’ compensation claim, calculate a reasonable settlement demand, and negotiate for the best possible settlement during the mediation. Our workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have handled hundreds of Minnesota workers’ comp cases. We will use our experience to negotiate the best possible settlement for you during your workers’ comp mediation.Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.

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How to Win a Workers’ Comp Case in St. Paul, MN

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If you suffered a work injury, you are likely concerned about getting the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve. The odds of winning a workers’ comp case depend on the facts of your case and whether you took the appropriate steps throughout the claims process. But there is more than one way to win a workers’ comp case. Accepting a reasonable settlement can be a win because you receive compensation for your injuries without the risk of going to trial. If you have suffered an injury at work, you should speak with a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer today. A lawyer can give you guidance regarding how to win your workers’ compensation case. Steps You Can Take to Win a Workers’ Comp Case To increase your chances of winning your workers’ compensation case, you should consider taking the following steps. File Your Claim Quickly and Accurately First, you should file your claim quickly and accurately. You can accomplish this by reporting your injury to your supervisor right away. In Minnesota, failing to report your injury within 14 days can prevent you from filing a workers’ comp claim. After reporting your injury, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you file your claim, the more likely you’ll win your case. Get Prompt Medical Treatment Next, you should seek medical care immediately after the accident. Medical records are important evidence in workers’ comp cases. They include a description of your injuries and statements by medical professionals. It is important to understand that failing to seek immediate medical treatment could hurt your chances of winning a workers’ comp case. Your insurance company may argue that failing to seek immediate medical treatment means you weren’t as severely injured as you said you were. Be Careful of Surveillance and Private Investigators It is also important to be aware that private investigators might follow you if your insurance company believes that you are not being truthful about your injuries. Investigators may try to videotape you performing physical acts that are inconsistent with your injuries. Keep Detailed Records You should also keep detailed records of all other information relating to your workers’ comp claim. Records other than medical records include: Letters from your employer or insurance company; An accident report; and Forms stating your workplace restrictions. Keeping detailed records will help your attorney quickly and accurately file your workers’ comp claim. Do I Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer? If you have been injured at work, you should strongly consider hiring a workers’ comp lawyer. A lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes in the complicated workers’ compensation claims process, file your claim on time, and increase your chances of receiving a high settlement. A lawyer can also give you leverage when dealing with insurance companies. Our workers’ comp attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will help you through the workers’ comp claims process. We believe in fighting for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on recovering from your workplace injury. Contact us today with any questions you may have or to schedule your free consultation.

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Is Sexual Assault a Felony or Misdemeanor in Minnesota?

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Sexual assault, also called criminal sexual conduct in Minnesota, refers to alleged sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the consent of the victim. Allegations can include: Unwanted sexual touching; Forcing the victim to perform unwanted sexual acts; and  Penetration of the victim’s body. Minnesota law splits sexual assault into five degrees depending on the circumstances of the alleged act. First-degree through fourth-degree sexual assault are felonies, while fifth-degree sexual assault is a gross misdemeanor or felony depending on the situation. If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, you should contact a sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible. First-Degree Sexual Assault First-degree sexual assault is the most serious form of sexual assault in Minnesota. It involves an allegation of sexual penetration of any person or an allegation of sexual contact with a minor under 13 years old. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a first-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16, the accused was in a position of authority over the victim, and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused had a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use the weapon to force the victim to submit to the act. First-degree sexual assault carries a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Second-Degree Sexual Assault Second-degree sexual assault covers alleged sexual contact under at least one of the circumstances also applicable to first-degree sexual assault. It carries a maximum punishment of up to 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. Third-Degree Sexual Assault Third-degree sexual assault involves sexual penetration of any person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a third-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than two years older than the victim; or The accused knew or had reason to know that the victim was mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. Third-degree sexual assault carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Fourth-Degree Sexual Assault Fourth-degree sexual assault involves sexual contact with another person. Some, but not all, of the alleged circumstances that could give rise to a fourth-degree sexual assault charge include: The victim was under 13 and the accused was no more than three years older than the victim; The victim was between 13 and 16 and the accused was more than four years older than the victim; or The accused used force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact. It carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Fifth-Degree Sexual Assault Acts that constitute an allegation of fifth-degree sexual assault include: Nonconsensual sexual contact; or Knowingly masturbating or exposing one’s genitals in the presence of a minor under 16 years old. When charged as a gross misdemeanor, it carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. When charged as a felony, it carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine. Can I Get Sexual Assault Charges Dropped or Reduced? Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney might get your sexual assault charges dropped or reduced. However, getting your charges dropped or reduced can be difficult because key defenses do not apply in sexual assault cases. For example, consent is not an available defense to allegations involving minors and some cases involving alleged intoxication. The defense known as “mistake of age” is also generally unavailable in sexual assault charges involving minors. You should speak with a sexual assault lawyer today to get a betters sense of what defenses are available in your individual case. How the Sexual Assault Lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., Can Help You If you face sexual assault charges in Minnesota, our sexual assault lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., will work to get your charges reduced or dismissed. We will thoroughly explain your options to you so that you can make informed decisions throughout your case. We have achieved many positive results for our clients because of our experience in the Minnesota criminal justice system and dedication to our individual clients’ needs. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Workers’ Comp Settlements for a Back Injury in Minnesota

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Back injuries can severely disrupt your life and cause long-term health problems. Unfortunately, back injuries frequently occur in the workplace and are commonly reported for workers’ comp claims. Back pain alone costs employers almost $100 billion every year. If you suffered back injuries due to a workplace accident, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you secure the compensation you need to cover the costs of your treatment.  Common Workplace Back Injuries Back injuries commonly occur in the workplace, even in jobs requiring little or no physical labor. Back injuries can include damage to your spinal cord, muscle injuries, and damage to the nervous system. Common back injuries in the workplace include: Herniated discs, Muscle strains and sprains, Pinched nerves, Fractured vertebrae, and Degenerative disc disease. Back strains and sprains are common and can occur through even the slightest movements. In fact, many workers who complain of lower back pain spend most of their days sitting. Herniated discs are also common and particularly harmful. Our spinal cords are composed of bones called vertebrae, which are separated and cushioned by discs. These discs absorb shock when we place strain on our spinal cords through physical movements. A herniated disc occurs when the inner portion of the disc pushes out and ruptures the outer disc layer. When this happens, the ruptured disc pushes on the nerves in the spine, producing sometimes intense pain. Herniated discs can occur through a single event or over time through the degeneration of the spinal column. Common Causes of Workplace Back Injuries Back injuries in the workplace can occur through a variety of different events. Some of the most common causes of workplace back injuries include: Improper technique when lifting heavy objects, Sudden movements, Working too fast, and Repetitive motions that strain the back. Improper lifting technique commonly results in workplace back injuries. Lifting heavy objects without properly engaging the leg muscles places undue strain on the spinal cord. This often leads to back injuries such as herniated discs. Herniated disc settlements for workers’ comp may involve large payments to cover the full extent of rehabilitation and medical treatment. Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation for My Back Injury? If you suffer a workplace back injury while performing your job duties, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation coverage normally includes: All medical costs associated with your injury, Lost wages, Disability payments, and Ongoing rehabilitation. Calculating workers’ compensation benefits is complicated. To ensure you receive a fair workers’ comp settlement for your back injury, you should speak with a qualified attorney before signing any agreement.  Can My Employer Deny My Workers’ Compensation Claim? While most workers’ compensation claims are approved, employers can deny their employees workers’ comp benefits. Your employer’s insurance company will assess whether the employer is responsible for paying for your treatment. In some cases, the insurance company may advise the employer to deny the claim. Some common reasons for denial of workers’ comp benefits include: Failing to file a claim in time, The injury did not occur in the workplace, Drugs or alcohol were involved, or The employee contributed to or caused their own injury. Denial of your workers’ comp claim is not the end of the story. An experienced attorney can help you appeal your denial and fight to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact a Qualified Workers’ Comp Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace back injury, you should seek immediate medical attention. Untreated back injuries can lead to long-term health problems. After you receive medical treatment, contact the experienced attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka to help you handle your workers’ compensation settlements for your back injury. Our dedicated staff cares deeply about our clients, and we will always place your interests first. Our team will answer your questions and provide you hands-on legal services every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-222-6603 or fill out an online form today. 

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Tips for Hiring the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in MN

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Choosing the best criminal defense attorney in Minnesota can feel overwhelming. With so many law firms to choose from, you may struggle to find the attorney that is right for you. Below are some tips for hiring the best Minnesota criminal defense attorney, so you get the legal counsel you need.  Choose an Attorney with Relevant Experience Criminal defense encompasses a broad category of different legal practices. A lawyer who specializes in one field may not have the relevant experience to provide you the best representation for your specific case. When searching for an attorney or law firm, narrow your choices based on the type of law the attorney practices and where they practice. Ask yourself the following questions: What type of case do I have? What kinds of law does the attorney practice and are they related to my case? How much experience does the attorney have practicing that type of law? Does the attorney have experience taking their cases to trial? Where does the attorney primarily practice law? What were the most recent types of cases the attorney handled? Laws vary significantly depending on each state. You should make sure your attorney has experience practicing law in Minnesota. Attorneys who specialize in Minnesota criminal law have experience and an in-depth understanding of the relevant statutes and court decisions that will apply to your case.  Choose an Attorney Who Is Responsive and Trustworthy The best criminal defense attorneys in Minnesota understand the importance of client communication and building trust. Your attorney should respond quickly and professionally and answer your questions in full. While searching for attorneys, you should reach out to the law firm with questions about their practice. The firm’s responsiveness will tell you a lot about their client communication practices and what to expect if you hire them for your case. A good attorney also strives to create an atmosphere of trust with their clients. You should feel comfortable sharing and communicating openly with your lawyer. Attorneys that lack adequate communication skills will struggle to provide you with quality representation. Search for Attorneys with a Strong Reputation A criminal defense attorney’s reputation will provide you important insights into the quality of their legal practice. A strong professional reputation shows that the lawyer has a history of success as well as the respect of their professional peers. Look for attorneys who receive special recognition from legal professional organizations. You can search an attorney’s professional reputation through databases such as: Your local bar association Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, and Lawyers.com. You can also search the law firm’s website and check if the firm’s lawyers have received any special recognition, such as a SuperLawyers designation, Attorney of the Year, or other public recognition. In addition to professional reputation, previous client reviews can tell you a lot about an attorney and their legal practice. Most law firm websites contain a section of testimonials from previous clients. Review these and compare them to external review sources, such as Google and Avvo and other customer review websites. Finally, one of the best ways to find a quality lawyer is through word-of-mouth referrals. A recommendation from someone you know and trust can give you confidence that the attorney will give you high-quality legal advice to guide you through each step of the legal process.  Search for Attorneys with a History of Success Reputation and experience are important to your search, but those factors alone may not tell you whether the attorney can achieve a successful outcome. Search for attorneys with a proven history of success. Most law firms will have a section on their website listing their previous successes. While searching, ask yourself the following questions: What was the attorney’s most recent case? What was the type of case? What was the outcome? During an initial consultation, you can also ask your prospective attorney how often they settle a case or go to trial.  Choose an Attorney with a Fair Cost Structure All private attorneys will charge fees for their legal services. However, firms may utilize different fee structures to charge their clients. Most criminal defense attorneys will charge a flat fee to handle your case. Under this fee structure, the attorney will charge a specific amount upfront depending on the nature of the case. When assessing fee structures, ask the following questions: What type of fee structure do you use? How much do you charge? If I’m paying a flat rate, what legal services does the fee cover? Do you offer payment plans? Legal fees can get expensive. Before hiring an attorney, make sure you understand and are comfortable with their fees and fee structure.  Meet with Your Top Choices and Take Notes Once you narrow down your choices, schedule an initial consultation with your top three attorneys.  Come prepared with a list of questions and information about your case. Make sure you take good notes so you can compare each law firm. You can learn a lot about your prospective lawyer through the initial consultation. Try to gauge their personality and demeanor, and make sure they are someone with whom you want to work.  Contact a Qualified Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney Today If you face criminal charges in Minnesota, the lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka are ready to help. Our attorneys have combined decades of experience handling Minnesota criminal defense cases. We care deeply about our clients and always put their interests first. Our committed staff will answer your questions and assist you every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-362-4551 or fill out an online form today. 

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Out of State Workers Compensation

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WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR OUT OF STATE EMPLOYEES Employees based in states outside of Minnesota may be eligible for out of state workers compensation if a physical injury is sustained within the state of Minnesota.  Minnesota broadly extends the jurisdiction of its workers’ compensation law to any out of state employee who physically sustains an injury while working in Minnesota.   If a worker from another state is injured while performing work duties within Minnesota, the injured employee usually must forego a right to their home state’s work comp benefits before accepting Minnesota workers’ compensation benefits. But for many Minnesota workers injured while working in another state, the issue becomes– what type of benefits am I entitled to? THE APPLICATION OF MINNESOTA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW AND BENEFITS TO INJURIES PHYSICALLY OCCURRING OUTSIDE THE STATE IS SOMEWHAT LIMITED. Except as otherwise provided, injuries occurring outside of Minnesota are not covered.  However, in certain factual scenarios, the injured employee may qualify for out of state workers compensation. EMPLOYEES REGULARLY EMPLOYED WITHIN THE STATE  Minnesota work comp coverage will be afforded to any employee injured outside the state if the employee regularly performs the primary duties of employment in Minnesota and was working for the same employer while injured outside the state.   Minn. Stat. 176.041, subd. 2.  The terms “regularly performs” and “primary duty” is subject to review and interpretation by the court. The specific facts of a case will determine whether out of state workers compensation coverage applies. EMPLOYEES TEMPORALIY OUT OF STATE  Minnesota jurisdiction also exists, and work comp coverage will apply, where the employee is hired in Minnesota, by a Minnesota employer, and is injured while temporarily outside the state.   Minn. Stat. 176.041, subd. 3. All three of these requirements must be present for Minnesota jurisdiction to attach. In this case, the injured employee should be eligible for out of state workers compensation benefits. AGAIN AS WITH MANY LEGAL TERMS, “HIRED IN MINNESOTA,” “MINNESOTA EMPLOYER,” AND “TEMPORARILY EMPLOYED OUTSIDE THE STATE”  CAN BE INTERPRETED BY THE COURT DEPENDING ON THE SPECIFIC FACTS OF A CASE. Call our workers’ compensation lawyers if you sustained an injury outside the state of Minnesota while working for a Minnesota employer.  Our attorneys will review the specific facts of your case and determine whether you qualify for out of state workers compensation benefits.

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Employer Denied Reasonable Accommodation? What Next?

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Congress has passed several laws aimed at fighting discrimination in the workplace. In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide protections and accommodations for disabled persons in the workplace. The ADA prohibits employers from denying employment because a person has a disability. Further, the law imposes a duty to accommodate disabled persons in the workplace. Employers must provide reasonable accommodation to allow an employee to complete their job assignments. Reasonable Accommodation Laws in Minnesota Under the ADA, reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or to the normal hiring process to provide equal opportunities in the workplace to people with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are meant to assist a disabled person in three ways: Providing equal opportunities for people with disabilities in the hiring process; Providing accommodations so a person with a disability can perform their essential job duties; and Ensuring that an employee with a disability can enjoy the same job benefits as their co-workers. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include: Installing a ramp or modifying a restroom; Providing screen reader software; Providing sign language interpreters or closed captioning at meetings; or Changing workplace policies to allow service animals in the workplace. Employees with a disability may request any reasonable accommodations that would assist them in performing their essential job functions.  Requesting Accommodation Employees bear the responsibility to request reasonable accommodations if they have a disability. This request can be made verbally or in writing and does not require specific language or procedures. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations depending on the specific needs of the individual and the nature of the work. Employers must work with the employee who requested accommodation to determine if it is reasonable and necessary for the employee to perform their job.  When Can an Employer Deny a Request for Accommodation? Under certain circumstances, employers may deny requests for accommodation.  If the requests are unreasonable, the employer may refuse to grant the request or may modify the request. Examples of unreasonable requests include: Requests that eliminate an essential function of the job, or Requests that disrupt the company’s ability to make profits. Additionally, employers do not need to grant accommodations that would cause the employer undue hardship. Undue hardships include: Significant costs to the employer, Disruption of the normal course of business, and Significant difficulty. Courts assess undue hardship based on several factors, including: The size of the employer, The employer’s financial resources, The nature of the employer’s business, and The impact of the accommodation on the business. Employers only have to provide accommodations for disabilities of which they are aware. If you have a disability and you need accommodations, you must inform your employer and make a request.  What Should I Do if My Employer Denied My Reasonable Accommodation Request? Your employer may not ignore your request or deny a reasonable request. If your employer ignores or denies your request, you should follow the guidelines below to fight your request denial. Put Your Request in Writing  First, put your request in writing and send it to the head of your company’s human resources department. Although not required by law, this will help ensure your employer understands your request. You can also refer back to your written request if you need to pursue further action. Contact an Attorney If your employer continues to ignore your request, you should speak with a qualified employment discrimination attorney. Your attorney can contact your employer directly and help you demand your accommodation. An attorney also understands the ADA and other anti-discrimination laws and can help you navigate the process. Your lawyer can help ensure your request is reasonable to avoid denial by a court. Finally, your attorney can help ensure your request fully accommodates your needs. The ADA guarantees people with disabilities equal opportunities in the workplace. Your attorney will work to ensure you receive the accommodation to which you’re entitled. File a Claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission If your employer refuses demands and negotiations with your lawyer, you can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC will assess your claim to determine if your employer has discriminated against you.  If the EEOC does not take action or you are dissatisfied with the outcome, your lawyer can help you file a claim in court. We Are Here to Help If you have a disability, you have a right to equal opportunities in the workplace. We do not tolerate discrimination, and we will fight diligently to protect your interests. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have extensive experience defending our client’s interests and protecting their rights. We put our clients first, and we strive to answer all of your questions and provide you support every step of the way. For a free consultation, call our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form. 

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Do Employers Drug Test for Workers’ Comp?

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Injuries in the workplace happen all the time. When they do, employees normally receive workers’ compensation to cover the cost of their injuries and treatment.  In Minnesota, employers can require that employees injured on the job take a drug test. However, Minnesota designed its workers’ compensation laws to protect injured workers. Even if you fail a drug test, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation for your on-the-job injuries. Drug Testing Laws for Workers’ Comp in Minnesota Under Minnesota law, employers have the right to require drug testing for employees who suffer an on-the-job injury. However, the statute also requires that the employer have a written drug testing policy. The employer can request a drug test only in accordance with that written policy. If the employee tests positive, he or she also has the right to explain the positive test and the right to request a re-test within a specified time. Do I Have to Take a Drug Test to Receive Workers’ Comp? Minnesota’s workman’s comp state law does not require that employees take a drug test before receiving workers’ compensation.  However, the employer still has the right to require a drug test before paying any workers’ comp benefits. If your employer requires a workers’ comp drug test, you may need to take it before you receive your benefits.  Failing a Drug Test Does Not Mean You Can’t Get Workers’ Comp Even if you fail a workers’ comp drug test, you may still be eligible for benefits. Under Minnesota’s law, if the drugs or alcohol are the proximate cause of the workplace injury, the employer may refuse to pay workers’ compensation benefits. But the burden of proving causation is on the employer.  The employer must provide evidence that: The employee was intoxicated, and The intoxication caused the injury or injuries. Proving causation can be difficult, especially if other dangers existed that contributed to the injuries. For example, a worker slips and falls while carrying a heavy object and breaks his arm. He tests positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. However, evidence shows that another worker carelessly spilled a liquid on the ground and did not clean up the spill or put out a sign warning of a slippery floor. The judge may find that the other worker’s carelessness, and not the drugs, were the proximate cause of the injury.  Bottom line: even if you test positive for drugs or alcohol, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.  When Should I Contact an Attorney?  If you tested positive for drugs or alcohol following a workplace injury, you should contact a qualified Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney right away. An attorney can increase your chances of recovering your workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp cases can be complicated and time-consuming. An attorney understands how to defend your interests and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Your attorney understands which facts and circumstances are important for proving your case.  Your attorney can help you by: Gathering witness statements and police reports; Performing investigations of the workplace and the scene of the accident; Gathering medical records such as hospital reports and drug tests; Negotiating with your employer on your behalf; and  Representing you if your case proceeds to trial. Your attorney will work with you to build a strong case and fight for the best possible outcome.  Contact a Qualified Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today If you suffered a workplace injury, contact the law offices of Arechigo & Stokka today. Our knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience defending our clients in workers’ compensation cases. We provide hands-on legal services, and our dedicated staff will answer your questions and provide you support every step of the way. We care about our clients and place their interests first. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office at 651-419-5366 or fill out an online form today. 

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