Aug
6

Thieving Employer or a Trap for the Inattentive? Minnesota's New Wage Theft Statute

The New Minnesota Wage Theft Law Creates Big Risks for Unwary Employers.  Starting August 1, 2019, the date of this post, Minnesota employers committing “wage theft” will now be guilty of a crime. This is just one part of a recent and substantive set of employment reforms in Minnesota intended to enhance worker protections.[1] “Wage theft,” for purposes of the new law, includes any of the following conducted with an intent to defraud:

Failure to pay an employee all wages, salary, gratuities, earnings, or commissions at the employee’s rate or rates of pay or at the rate or rates...
Mar
17

Automatic Voter Registration - A Siren Song for a Future Deportation

The 2020 presidential election is already dominating news headlines. Since mid-January, politicians and public figures have been announcing their candidacy in rapid succession. Such political fervor is arguably good for the democratic process, as it brings important issues to the forefront. It also prompts campaign organizers to align supporters and so focuses attention on the voter registration process.

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is a policy intended to streamline the way Americans register to vote. AVR uses an electronic “opt-out” registration system, whereby an individual is...

Mar
16

Leaving a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth - Unsavory Pay Practices in the Food Service Industry

An editorial in the NY Times from March of 2018 highlighted the perceived injustices of pay practices in the restaurant industry. They focused on the most commonly recognized issue of payment at rates below the standard minimum wage levels for tipped employees in states that allow such practices.[1] But while these practices are explicitly authorized under many wage laws, the restaurant industry is rife with other pay practices that do violate employment law at the local or federal level.

A 2014 report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) cited statistics from the U.S. DOL Wage and Hour...

Feb
20

Why Timbs v. Indiana May Mean the End of the Line for Forfeitures in Minnesota

On February 20, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Excessive Fines Clause in the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution applies to civil forfeitures resulting from state criminal prosecutions. Timbs v. Indiana, __ U.S. __, No. 17-1091, (U.S. Feb. 20, 2019).

Minnesota, like most states, has civil forfeiture laws that allow the state to permanently take property from you when that property is used in connection with the commission of a crime.  For example, Minn. Stat. 609.5314 permits the state to take money, precious metals, or precious stones if they are found in...

Jan
29

Deportation by Speculation - the Rise of the Reason to Believe Charge

ICE has shown lately that it is becoming more willling to use any tool at its disposal to impact a removal proceeding.   One such trend has been the  notable increase in charging under section 212(a)(2)(C)(i) of Immigration & Nationalty Act.  This charge of removal or deportation is known by its standard, a “reason to believe” that an individual is knowingly involved somehow in drug trafficking.  This legal charge gives the government a powerful tool to try to keep a person in custody and bar him or her from staying in the United States.

In the bond and detention context, it is an...

Jan
29

The Mystery of the U Visa Wait Time Solved

The U.S. Congress created U non-immigrant status (the U visa) in October 2000 to help victims of certain crimes who have experienced extreme mental or physical abuse and were helpful to law enforcement of government in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.  The U visa bestows clear benefits, when granted: The applicant—and any qualifying family members included as the applicant’s derivatives—can work and reside in the United States lawfully for four years; but after having U visa status for three years, the Applicant can apply to become a lawful permanent resident...

Dec
3

Crimes and DACA - common issues that cause real problems

DACA recipients benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program which provides some immigration relief for children brought to the United States illegally at a young age.  If you have DACA, then the U.S. government essentially overlooks your illegal entry into the country and you can obtain a driver’s license, work permit and are protected from deportation – unless you get into certain kinds of trouble with the law.  What should you do if you have DACA and get charged with a crime?

While DACA offers protection from deportation, it is a fragile type of...

Dec
3

The Proposed Public Charge Rule Explained

The immigration law has long established that “any alien . . . likely at any time to become a public charge” is inadmissible to the United States. On October 10th, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a new rule to expand its definition of a “public charge.”  These are proposed changes.    They are not the law today, and likely will change if and when the rule becomes final.   

There is a lot of rumors and false suggestions about this proposed rule.  Wilson Law Group wants you to know what is the issue and who it really potentially impacts.

What is a Public...

Nov
23

Social Security Benefits and Unauthorized Work - Clearing the Shrouds of Mystery

It is an urban myth that those who work without authorization in the United States will still receive social security benefits.  In fact, individuals who worked previously in the United States may need to act to ensure they receive proper credit for the work they performed after they become authorized to work.

The root of this dynamic is the Social Security Protection Act of 2004.  President Bush, in an effort to placate his party, pushed for legislation that changed who is eligible for retirement benefits for work performed in the United States.  The Protection Act bars payment to...

Nov
8

The Reality of the Dependency Exemption after the Tax Cut and Jobs Act

Generally, the tax dependency exemption is awarded to the custodial parent; this is the federal default[1]. The custodial parent is defined as the parent receiving more than 50% of the parenting time, based on overnights. However, Minnesota Courts have the power to award a tax exemption to a non-custodial parent incident to the determination of child support and physical custody. Minn. Stat. § 518A.38, subd. 7. In making the decision, Courts are directed to consider: 1) the financial resources of each party; 2) if not awarding the dependency exemption negatively impacts a parent’s...

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