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January 2014 Archives

Employment legislation update

Swenson Lervick attorney Tom Jacobson today presented a legislative update to the West Central Minnesota Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The presentation focused on recently passed and currently pending Minnesota and federal laws and regulations relating to employment law. Highlights of the seminar included:

Small claims court limit to increase

Effective August 1, 2014 the amount of money that can be recovered in Minnesota Conciliation Court (sometimes called Small Claims Court) actions that do not involve consumer credit transactions will increase from $10,000.00 to $15,000.00. The limit for consumer credit transactions (that is, certain personal property transactions where credit is granted by a seller or a lender who regularly engages as a seller or lender in credit transactions) will remain at $4,000.00. Conciliation Court is sometimes an excellent alternative to suing someone in District Court because no lawyer is needed, the rules are relaxed, and the filing fees are less. Parties in a Conciliation Court case may obtain the necessary forms from the local court administrator, and the administrator is required to assist the parties in completing the forms. Plus, after the judge makes a decision in a Conciliation Court case, the unsuccessful party has a short period of time to start over in District Court if they choose to do so. There are, however, certain types of cases that cannot be heard in Conciliation Court. For example, Conciliation Courts do not have jurisdiction to decide real estate title disputes, boundary line disputes, libel and slander cases, class actions, and medical malpractice cases. For more information about this Conciliation Court, please contact me at [email protected], review Minnesota Statutes Chapter 491A, or visit the Minnesota Judicial Branch's Conciliation Court Self Help Center.

Breathe freely: Address radon gas in home sales

If you are buying or selling a home in Minnesota, pay attention because there are a few more forms to exchange starting this year.  The new paperwork revolves around Radon.  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that enters buildings through the floor.  It is odorless, tasteless, and colorless.  According to the EPA, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths in non-smokers in the United States. In 2013, the Minnesota legislature enacted the Radon Awareness Act ("RAA"), which went quietly into effect on January 1, 2014.  Under this new law, any seller of residential property is required to disclose any knowledge of radon concentrations in the dwelling.  Such disclosure must accompany any contract to purchase property made after January 1 and must include:

January 16 Employment Law Update Announced

Want to keep up to date on the latest developments in employment law?  Need continuing education credits? If so, here's an opportunity for you. I'll be moderating Lorman's Employment Law Update in Fargo, North Dakota on January 16, 2014. The day-long event has been approved for the following continuing education credits: 6.5 hours CPP/FPC; 6.5 hours MN CLE; 6.75 hours ND CLE; 8.0 hours CPE; 1.0 hour HRPD. In interested, please contact me at [email protected], or click here for more information or to register. I hope to see you in Fargo on January 16! P.S. Don't forget to ask me about a discount on the registration fee! Copyright 2014 Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Schultz, PA

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