Employer Denied Reasonable Accommodation? What Next?

    | Read Time: 3 minutes

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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What to Know About Lowe’s Workers’ Compensation

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Workers’ compensation is financial compensation for lost wages and medical expenses employers are required to provide to employees that suffer an injury at work. Minnesota law requires Lowe’s to provide workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured during the course of their job either through an insurance policy or from its own financial resources. If you suffered an injury while working at Lowe’s in Minnesota, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today. Am I Entitled to Workers’ Compensation from Lowe’s in MN? You are entitled to workers’ compensation from Lowe’s if you were an employee at the time you suffered a work-related injury. Minnesota law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees either through an insurance carrier or by obtaining permission for self-insurance from the State of Minnesota. Workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to include lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and ongoing disability benefits. A workers’ comp lawyer can help you determine which benefits apply to your case. Types of Accidents at Lowe’s That Can Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Common accidents Lowe’s employees might suffer that can qualify for workers’ comp benefits include: Slipping and falling on the floor; Joint damage from repetitive movement; Back and neck injuries from lifting heavy objects, including loading and unloading trucks; Falling from a ladder when stocking inventory; and Being involved in a truck accident when making deliveries. If you’ve been injured while working at Lowe’s, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer today to find out whether your injury qualifies for benefits. How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim Against Lowe’s In Minnesota, you must notify your supervisor of your injury within 14 days of the accident.  Next, Lowe’s should complete and file a First Report of Injury (FROI) form with its insurance company within 10 days of the date you notified them of your injury. Its insurance company should then file it with the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry within 14 days of the date Lowe’s became aware of your accident. The purpose of this form is to start the claim process and provide information about the accident and your injury. What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident at Lowe’s? After suffering a workplace accident at Lowe’s, you should seek immediate medical care. You should report the accident and your injuries to your supervisor as soon as possible. Additionally, you should check your employee handbook for Lowe’s specific medical providers. Failing to use an in-network provider might disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Next, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation and ensure you meet all deadlines. A lawyer can maintain all documentation and fight Lowe’s or its insurance company if they deny you benefits when you have a legitimate claim. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have over 10 years of experience representing injured workers. They will handle every aspect of your case with your best interests in mind. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Understanding 2nd-Degree Assault in Minnesota

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Criminal assault can happen in a variety of circumstances. The types of charges vary depending on the circumstances and the severity of the harm. Second-degree assaults involve a dangerous weapon and carry serious penalties. If you are facing 2nd-degree assault charges, contact a qualified Minnesota criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options.  What Is Second-Degree Assault? Under Minnesota law, second-degree assault is a felony offense. Second-degree assault charges fall into two different subdivisions: Subdivision 1, assault with a dangerous weapon, and Subdivision 2, assault with a dangerous weapon that causes substantial bodily harm. A “dangerous weapon” can include numerous different objects if used as a weapon to harm another person. Dangerous weapons include: Any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; Any combustible or flammable liquid; and Any other object that is used or intended to be used to cause great bodily harm or death. Under subdivision 2, if a person causes substantial bodily harm to another person while using a dangerous weapon, the aggressor will face heftier penalties.  Minnesota law defines “substantial bodily harm” as bodily injury that: Involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, Causes a temporary but substantial loss of function of a body part, or Causes a fractured or broken bone. It is important to remember that a person can face 2nd-degree assault charges even if substantial bodily injury does not occur. Even threatening someone with a dangerous weapon may be sufficient evidence to prove guilt. 2nd-Degree Assault Sentences  People charged with 2nd-degree assault face felony charges and serious consequences. Under subdivision 1, if you commit an assault with a dangerous weapon, but the victim does not suffer substantial bodily injury, you may face: Jail time up to seven years, A fine of up to $14,000, or A combination of jail time and monetary fines. Second-degree assaults that cause substantial bodily harm carry harsher penalties. Subdivision 2 second-degree assault sentences include: Imprisonment of up to ten years, A fine of up to $20,000, or A combination of jail time and fines. Second-degree assault charges are very serious and can substantially disrupt your life. A criminal defense attorney can help you assess your options and figure out the best course of action. How Will It Affect Me?  In addition to the possible legal penalties, felony convictions can affect you long after you pay your fines and serve your jail sentence. Felony convictions may: Prevent you from securing a job, Limit your ability to find housing, and Prevent you from obtaining student loans for education expenses. Because second-degree assault charges carry such severe penalties, it is critical that you seek an experienced attorney to help you defend your interests. Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and craft a defense that improves your chances of success. Defenses to Second-Degree Assault Charges Depending on the facts of your case, several different defenses may be available. The most common types of defenses to second-degree assault are described below. Self-Defense and Defense of Others Self-defense is one of the most common defenses to second-degree assault. A person can claim self-defense when: The alleged victim initiated the confrontation, You reasonably believed you faced immediate bodily injury, You could not escape or retreat to a safe location, and You used only enough reasonable force to stop the attack. Defense of others is another common defense to second-degree assault. Defense of others is the same as self-defense except that you may use reasonable force to protect others from imminent bodily injury.  Defense of Property A person may also reasonably defend their property, but only in limited circumstances. For example, if someone steals your property, such as a wallet, directly from your person, you may use reasonable force to protect your property. Other Defenses Other types of defenses to second-degree assault include: Lack of sufficient evidence, Consent to the contact, Voluntary or involuntary intoxication, and An alibi. A strong defense can result in dismissal of all of your charges, or the defense can help reduce your criminal sentence. However, successfully proving your defense is a complex process. Working with a skilled Minnesota criminal defense attorney will improve your chances for success and help you return to your normal life as quickly as possible.  Should I Hire an Attorney? Experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys understand the nuances of the criminal justice system. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and decades of experience defending clients in state and federal courts. Our attorneys will advise you on what to do after an arrest to avoid making the situation worse. In addition, our team of attorneys and staff will handle all of the steps necessary to create a strong legal defense. Our team of attorneys and staff can help you by: Performing factual investigations, gathering witness statements, and other relevant documents; Gathering medical records and hospital reports; Collecting police crime scene reports; Negotiating agreements and pleas with the prosecutor; and If necessary, defending you during trial. As soon as you are arrested, you have a right to a lawyer, and you should exercise that right. Working with an attorney improves the chances the court or prosecutor will dismiss your case or reduce your charges.  Contact an Attorney Today If you are facing second-degree assault charges, contact the law firm of Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., today. Our dedicated staff cares deeply about our clients, and we will assist you every step of the way. We provide hands-on, personalized legal services, and we will fight aggressively to defend your interests. Call our offices at 651-401-7926 or fill out an online form today. 

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Understanding First Degree Assault in Minnesota

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Disagreements or confrontations involving physical violence often lead to assault charges. Depending on the extent of the injuries and who is involved, charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. In Minnesota, first-degree assault is a felony offense and carries serious, long-term consequences. If you were arrested for first-degree assault, you should speak with a qualified Minnesota defense attorney. Your attorney will help you understand your case and defend your interests in court. What Is First Degree Assault?  Under Minnesota law, a first-degree assault typically occurs when a person assaults and causes great bodily harm to another person. “Great bodily harm” means bodily injury that:  Creates a high probability of death,  Causes serious permanent disfigurement,  Causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or  Causes other serious bodily harm. A person may also face first-degree assault charges if he or she assaults one of the following people by using or attempting to use deadly force: A peace officer, A judge, A prosecuting attorney, or A correctional employee who works in a jail, private prison, or workhouse. First-degree assault charges carry significant penalties, including hefty fines and prison terms.  Penalties and Charges for First Degree Assault Under Minnesota law, a first-degree assault charge is a felony offense. First-degree assault penalties may include up to 20 years in prison, a $30,000 fine, or both.  If you are convicted of assaulting a peace officer, judge, prosecutor, or correctional employee, you must serve your entire sentence. This means you are not eligible for: Probation, Parole, Discharge, Work release, or Supervised release. A felony conviction can affect you long after you serve your prison term and pay your fines. First-degree felony assault charges may prevent you from: Getting a job, Obtaining housing, and Securing loans for education tuition assistance. While first-degree assault charges are very serious, you may have some legal options available. Minnesota law has several defenses to first-degree assault. An experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney can help you identify any available defenses and develop a strong legal strategy. Defenses to First Degree Assault Depending on the circumstances of your case, several different defenses may be available. However, it may be challenging to prove your defense. A skilled criminal defense attorney has an in-depth knowledge of the law and understands how to develop and successfully raise a defense. Self-Defense and Defense of Others Self-defense is one of the most common defenses used in first-degree assault cases. Self-defense may apply when: The alleged victim was the initial aggressor, You believed you faced an imminent threat of bodily harm, That belief was reasonable, You had no reasonable opportunity to retreat or escape, and You used only enough reasonable force to stop the attack. Defense of others is similar to self-defense, except that it involves a person acting in defense of another person who faces a threat of unlawful harm or force. Unlike some states, Minnesota does not have a “stand your ground” law. This means that a person facing a threat of great bodily harm must attempt to escape the situation if it is reasonable to do so. A person can use deadly force in self-defense only as a last resort. Defense of Property A person may also use reasonable force to defend his or her personal property. However, this defense is available only in limited circumstances, such as when the property was stolen directly from your person. As with self-defense and defense of others, you may use only the amount of force reasonably necessary to defend your property.  Other Defenses Other types of defenses to first-degree assault include: Consent, Necessity, Intoxication, and An alibi. Some types of defenses are considered complete defenses. If successfully proven, the court will drop the charges against you. The court may also decide that a particular defense acts only as a partial defense to a charge. In these cases, the court may reduce or lower your sentence but not completely dismiss the charges against you. Even partial defenses can significantly reduce your criminal penalties and help you return to your normal life faster after a conviction.  How Can a Lawyer Help? Facing a first-degree assault charge alone can be intimidating. Even if you have a strong defense, successfully proving a defense in court can be complicated and time-consuming. Experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys understand the nuances of the criminal justice system. The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A., have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and extensive experience defending clients against first-degree assault charges. Our team of attorneys and staff can help you by: Thoroughly investigating your case, Collecting police and medical reports, Gathering witness statements, Filing documents in court, Negotiating agreements with the prosecutor, and If necessary, defending you at trial. First-degree assault cases can be highly complex and require a thorough understanding of the law. It is critical to retain a qualified criminal defense lawyer to defend you. Contact Our Offices Today If you are facing first-degree assault charges, contact our office today. Our dedicated staff will answer your questions, research your case, and help you choose the best legal strategy. We understand how difficult this process can be, and we will help you every step of the way. Call our offices at 651-401-7926 or fill out an online form today. 

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Do All Workers’ Comp Cases End in a Settlement?

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Most workers’ comp cases end in a settlement. Workers’ comp, or workers’ compensation, is financial compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, disability, and other expenses you face as a result of a job-related injury. Some factors that might affect your settlement value include: The severity of your injury, Whether you can return to work, and Whether evidence exists that contradicts your claim. If you have been injured as the result of a job-related injury, you should talk to a Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer today. What Is the Workers’ Comp Process in Minnesota? The Minnesota workers’ comp process can become complicated and intimidating. Hiring a lawyer can make the process less stressful for you. File Your Claim The first step in the MN workers’ comp process is to file your claim by completing and submitting the appropriate paperwork. We recommend hiring a lawyer to ensure the paperwork is filled out properly. Deposition Next, the insurance company’s lawyer takes your deposition. During a deposition, the lawyer will ask you questions about your claim to gather information. Your deposition is part of the evidence your insurance company will consider when deciding whether to offer a settlement. Independent Medical Examination After taking your deposition, your insurance company schedules a medical exam. Your insurance company and employer choose the doctor that will perform the exam. The purpose is to have a third-party doctor to assess whether your injuries are consistent with your statements.  Settlement Most of the time, your insurance company will next offer you a settlement. It is usually in the form of a lump sum payment. Your attorney can help you negotiate the final settlement amount. Hearing If your insurance company does not offer you a settlement or if you cannot reach an agreement, the next step is a hearing before a judge. At the hearing, both sides present evidence of why you are or are not entitled to workers’ comp. Unlike with a settlement, the judge will ultimately make the decision.  Appeal If the judge denies your workers’ comp claim, you can file an appeal within 30 days of the date of the decision. Things to Keep in Mind When Considering a Settlement Offer It is important to wait until you have fully recovered from your injuries to accept a settlement offer. You want to make sure you don’t accept a settlement that is lower than you deserve because you don’t yet know the total cost of your injuries. If you accept a settlement that does not cover all of your expenses, it is very difficult to set aside. However, it is possible to accept a settlement while leaving open the possibility of additional claims if you have more medical expenses or your impairment changes in the future. You just need to be sure to include that language in your settlement agreement. Additionally, it is important to understand that you won’t receive a settlement offer if your insurance company denies your claim. If applicable, a lawyer could contest the denial by providing additional evidence of your injuries or correcting any errors in the paperwork you’ve submitted. How Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help You? The Minnesota workers’ comp lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.C., can help you navigate the complex workers’ comp process. Working with us can minimize your chances of making a mistake and give you leverage against your employer’s insurance company. Whether your case settles or goes before a judge, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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Can I Get a Settlement From Workers’ Compensation If I Go Back to Work?

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If you sustain a work-related injury, you may be entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits. But when should you return to work, and how will this affect your settlement? The attorneys at Arechigo & Stokka have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you answer these questions and more. Read on to find out what you need to know before returning to work after a work-related injury. Workers’ Compensation Settlement After Returning to Work If you are injured in an on-the-job work accident, you might be wondering what you need to do to receive your settlement. The answer may not be so simple, and there are often many factors to consider.  On one hand, your employer might be eager for you to get back to work as quickly as possible. But, on the other hand, this might not be what is best for your health or your workers’ compensation case. Knowing and understanding the relevant factors is crucial to making sure you receive your settlement.  When Should I Go Back to Work?  Before going back to work, you should make sure you are cleared by a medical professional. Even if you feel prepared, or your employer has encouraged you to come back, it is important to be sure. Returning to work before you are physically and mentally ready could lead to further injury and other negative consequences. Do I Need To Be Fully Healed?  Although you might not need to be fully healed to go back to work, there may be consequences if you return before you are. Before returning to work, you should first reach what is called “maximum medical improvement” (MMI).  Maximum medical improvement is the point at which an injured person’s condition has stabilized. This is essentially the point where a doctor determines that the condition or injury cannot be improved any further.  What Puts My Settlement at Risk? Returning to work before you are ready can put your settlement at risk. Workers’ compensation claims help compensate individuals who sustain work-related injuries. The idea is that the injured worker cannot do that same job with the injuries they sustained, and as a result, they need compensation.  If you return to work before reaching maximum medical improvement, a workers’ compensation insurance company might take this to mean that your injuries were not that serious or that you do not need the entire settlement that was offered. Can I Get a Settlement If I Work With Restrictions? In some cases, your doctor may consider you to be at maximum medical improvement. However, you might still be partially disabled as a result of your injury. If this is the case, your doctor might clear you to work under certain restrictions.  As a part of your workers’ compensation settlement, your employer might offer you a less strenuous position that you can perform at your MMI level. In this scenario, you may still be entitled to settlement payment after returning to work, as long as you have been medically cleared to do so. When You Should Get a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you protect your rights in the aftermath of an on-the-job injury. The team at Arechigo & Stokka will give you the time and attention your case deserves. Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you with your workers’ compensation case.

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Sexual Conduct in Minnesota – Third Degree: Punishments & Remedies

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In the state of Minnesota, criminal sexual conduct offenses are classified by five levels, depending on the severity. Offenses range from first-degree offenses, which are felonies, down to fifth-degree offenses, which are gross misdemeanors. Sexual conduct offenses are classified by circumstance, available evidence, or any prior criminal sexual offenses the offender might have. What Is Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Third Degree in Minnesota? Under Minnesota law, sexual penetration is a third-degree sexual conduct crime under the following circumstances: The victim is under 13 years old, and the offender is no more than three years older; The victim is at least 13 years old, but less than 16 years old and the offender is no more than two years older; The victim is at least 16 years old, but less than 18, and the offender is more than four years older and in a position of authority; The victim is at least 16 years old, but less than 18, and the offender has a significant relationship with the individual; The victim is a patient of a psychotherapist, and there is an active patient-therapist relationship; The offender is a member of the clergy, the victim isn’t married to him or her, and the victim was seeking the offender’s advice or counseling; The offender is an employee or volunteer at a juvenile correctional facility, and the complainant is in custody there; or The actor knows or has reason to know that the complainant is mentally impaired, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. While these are the most common circumstances, situations are assessed on a case-by-case basis. When Alcohol is Involved Third-degree criminal sexual conduct is often seen in situations where alcohol is involved, and an individual complains of sexual misconduct while intoxicated and unable to give consent. When alcohol plays a part and people participate in sex while inebriated, it is challenging to accurately reconstruct the incident. Punishments for Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Minnesota The penalty for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree in Minnesota includes up to 15 years in prison and/or fines up to $30,000. Registration as a sexual offender is also required. Remedies for Third-Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct in Minnesota When charged with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, your criminal defense attorney may raise several possible defenses. A successful defense may reduce the penalty or, in some cases, help achieve a not-guilty verdict. Mistake of age is a defense only when the complainant is at least 13 years of age but less than 16. In this situation, the burden is placed on the actor to prove that they reasonably believed that the victim was at least 16 years old. Outside of this, mistaken age is not typically used as a defense.  Consent may be raised as a defense in some instances. Under Minnesota law, there are various limitations on the use of consent. Even if the complainant can prove consent, it may be limited in: Cases where the victim is below the age of consent; Encounters where the offender holds a position of authority over the victim; Situations where there is a significant relationship between the offender and victim, including parents, step-parents, guardians, or any relation by blood; or Situations where special trust exists, like patient-therapist relationships. Your criminal defense attorney can assess your particular situation and help you decide what defense to raise. Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree is a serious offense. A trustworthy and reliable attorney is an invaluable ally in this fight. Our team at Arechigo & Stokka has gained extensive criminal defense skills through decades of experience and hundreds of cases. We believe in working together with our clients to secure the best possible outcome in every case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation, and let us help you.

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Common Types of Workplace Injuries in Minnesota

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Workplace injuries are a common occurrence in any occupation. High-risk jobs are not the only kinds of jobs that put an employee at risk of workplace injuries. And most often, workplace injuries happen when you least expect them. Workplace injuries may result in many difficulties, including lost wages, medical bills, and permanent or temporary disability. Common Workplace Injuries According to the National Safety Council, there is a workplace injury every seven seconds. The most common kinds of injuries keeping workers from being able to work are: Sprains, strains, or tears; Soreness or pain; and Cuts, lacerations, or punctures. These injuries are typically a result of the top three common workplace injuries. 1. Overexertion Overexertion accounts for approximately 34% of work-related injuries. Employees that run the risk of overexertion are typically those in occupations requiring physical work.  Overexertion occurs with frequent lifting or lowering and repetitive motions. To prevent overexertion, it is recommended that you avoid bending, reaching, or twisting when lifting heavy objects. Taking short breaks while working also gives your body a chance to rest. 2. Contact with Objects and Equipment Work equipment is the cause of 26% of workplace injuries. These injuries occur when you are struck by equipment, caught in equipment, or hit, caught, or crushed in collapsing structure, equipment, or material. It is crucial to use caution when using or surrounded by equipment at work. To prevent work accidents with equipment, it is best to store heavy objects on or close to the floor, be fully aware of moving equipment or parts in your work area, and wear the proper protective gear. 3. Slips, Trips, and Falls This category accounts for about 26% of workplace injuries. Slips and trips can be very common on the job, whether it be on uneven or wet flooring or unnoticed objects on the ground. Falls may also occur if your work requires you to be at a height or you frequently use stairs or ladders. To attempt to prevent these kinds of accidents, it is best to try to place the base of ladders on solid, even surfaces, practice good housekeeping in the workspace, and inspect any climbing equipment before use. Occupations with the Largest Number of Workplace Injuries Common workplace injuries occur the most within the following occupations: Service (firefighters and police); Transportation/shipping; Manufacturing/production; Installation, maintenance, and repair; and Construction. These occupations are the most likely to have employees suffer workplace injuries due to the nature of their work. When to Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Common workplace injuries happen all too often, and many of them can be prevented. Using care and caution while working can help you, and those around you, avoid work-related injuries. While most workplace injuries can be prevented, they are a widespread occurrence. Should you be injured in a workplace accident, a workplace injury lawyer is an excellent resource for help and guidance. Our team at Criminal Defense Attorney & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka has decades of experience helping employees get the compensation they deserve after work-related accidents. We make the client and their needs our top priority, working with them through a trying situation. Let us assess your case and see how we can help you. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation.

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How to Apply for a DWI Work Permit in Minnesota

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Your driver’s license or ability to drive in Minnesota will be revoked if a chemical test of your blood alcohol content reveals a BAC over .08. Driving privileges will also be revoked if you refuse to submit to a chemical test. However, work permits, also known as limited licenses, are available.  Eligibility for a Minnesota limited license depends on specific requirements: It must be a first time DWI; Your blood-alcohol level must have been below 0.16; and You must be employed or be a full-time homemaker. If you are eligible under these requirements, then you may apply for a work permit 15 days after the expiration of your temporary license or 22 days after the date of your arrest. Here, we explain how to get a driving work permit in Minnesota. 1. The Written Test To apply for a limited license, you must first pass a written exam. The test is comprised of questions relating to drinking and driving. You may take the test at any time, and you do not need to wait for your license to be revoked to take it. To study for the test, review chapters 7 and 8 of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual. 2. Pay a Reinstatement Fee After passing the exam, you must pay a reinstatement fee of $680. Once the fee is paid, you may fill out a reinstatement application and pay the new license fee of $26.75. Under Minnesota laws, your application must explain your inability to take the bus or use ridesharing to get to and from work. 3. Meet with an Evaluator After all of the above has been completed, you may proceed with your application for the limited license. You must meet with an evaluator or administrator from the Department of Public Safety to get approval. Eligibility for a work permit in Minnesota also depends on your driving record and whether you have any previous DWIs. If you have multiple DWIs and these prior offenses were within 10 years of the current offense, you may not qualify for a work permit.  A criminal defense attorney can help you assess your case and provide you with advice and options. Restrictions Even if you are approved for a work permit in Minnesota, certain restrictions come along with it. Such restrictions include: What days you are permitted to drive; What hours in the day you are allowed to drive; and For what reasons you may drive. In most cases, you may only be allowed to drive to and from: Work; School; Treatment required for the DWI; and Necessary locations that meet family needs. Situations are assessed on a case by case basis, and additional conditions may be granted. Contact a DWI Attorney Today Every case is different, and a DWI attorney can help you navigate through this process. Our team at Arechigo & Stokka has extensive experience helping individuals with DWI charges achieve the most favorable outcome. Let us discuss your case and see how we can assist you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Gross Misdemeanor MN | What Are the Consequences?

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Minnesota classifies criminal offenses into three categories: Misdemeanors, Gross misdemeanors, and Felonies. These range in severity, with misdemeanors being the least serious and felonies being the most serious. Petty misdemeanors are not considered criminal offenses in Minnesota and are not included in this discussion. What Is a Gross Misdemeanor in Minnesota? Under Minnesota law, a gross misdemeanor is a serious criminal offense. Gross misdemeanors are considered more serious than misdemeanors but less serious than felony offenses. Gross misdemeanors in Minnesota can include: DUIs and DWIs;  Repeat assaults and violations; Marijuana possession; Interfering with 911 calls Theft offenses between $500 – $1,000; Prostitution in public places; 5th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct; and Some Criminal Vehicular Operation offenses. Various other crimes could fall under the category of a gross misdemeanor. A Minnesota criminal attorney can assist you in figuring out whether your situation would be considered a gross misdemeanor. Penalties Gross misdemeanors carry with them a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. Because gross misdemeanors are more serious than misdemeanors, you may also face a lengthy probation period of up to six years. Aside from penalties, jail time, and probation, a gross misdemeanor can bring about “collateral consequences.” Collateral consequences are civil sanctions resulting from a criminal conviction. Collateral consequences after a gross misdemeanor can include: Suspension of a driver license; Suspension of a professional license; or Loss of permanent legal residency. Gross misdemeanors also mean a permanent conviction on your criminal record. Defenses When charged with a gross misdemeanor, you may plead criminal defenses to the charge. Criminal defenses are legitimate excuses or justifications for the actions that brought about the gross misdemeanor. These defenses may include: Self-defense, Necessity, and Duress. Successfully raising a defense may reduce the penalty, or in some cases, lead to a not-guilty verdict. When You Should Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer You should contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you are facing gross misdemeanor charges. An attorney can assess the facts of your case and give you  advice on how to proceed. A criminal defense attorney can assist you in weighing out your options and coming up with a possible defense. Being charged with a gross misdemeanor can make for a very trying time. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney provides guidance, walking you through your next steps and possible recourse. The team at Arechigo & Stokka has helped individuals facing gross misdemeanors in Minnesota for years. Our compassion and experience make us the best allies in your fight. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you achieve the best possible results.

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