Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Yes – the Minnesota Supreme Court recently held that an employer does not violate public policy by terminating an employee for applying for unemployment benefits, but employers should still be cautious about doing so.
In Dukowitz v. Hannon Security Services, A11-1481 (Minn., Jan. 2, 2014), the plaintiff applied for unemployment benefits after her work

Understanding how unemployment insurance benefits work and how unemployment tax rates are calculated is essential if an employer is interested in keeping its unemployment tax rate low.
How Unemployment Insurance Benefits Work:  In Minnesota, for each employee in covered employment, the employer must pay unemployment taxes on the employee’s “taxable wage base.”  The taxable wage

Receipt of severance pay will typically either delay an applicant’s eligibility for unemployment benefits or will reduce the amount of benefits they receive.  Minnesota law provides that an applicant is ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits during any week in which the applicant receives “severance pay … paid by an employer because of, upon, or after

Employers have the right to challenge unemployment compensation when an employee commits misconduct.  The standard legal advice in Minnesota is that the bar for disqualifying misconduct is very high.  As a consequence, challenging unemployment compensation has been regarded as difficult or ill-advised in all but egregious cases.  But recent Minnesota appellate decisions show that

Not in Minnesota.  Minnesota law states that “[a]ny agreement by an individual to waive, release, or commute rights to unemployment benefits or any other rights under the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law is void.”  See Minn. Stat. § 268.192.  The law further states that “[a]ny agreement by an employee to pay all or any portion

The Minnesota legislature recently passed a law that prevents employers and former employees from enforcing agreements in which the employer agrees not to contest the former employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.  The legislation revised Minn. Stat. § 268.192 to provide that:

An employer may not make an agreement that in exchange for the employer agreeing

Poking a coworker can potentially constitute employment misconduct and render an employee ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals addressed this question in Potter v. Northern Empire Pizza, Inc., 805 N.W.2d 872 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011).
In Potter, the court emphasized that, while Minnesota law used to recognize an exception

Under Minnesota law, one of the reasons a terminated employee may be found ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits is if the employee was terminated for “employment misconduct.”  Minn. Stat. § 268.095, Subd. 4.
Employment misconduct is defined as “any intentional, negligent, or indifferent conduct, on the job or off the job that displays clearly:

What are common considerations a Minnesota employer faces when determining whether to oppose a former employee’s application for unemployment compensation?
Let’s say the employee was involuntarily terminated for continuous workplace rule violations but when told, the employee accused you of discrimination or retaliation or some other wrongful discharge.  You then get the notice of filing