St. Paul is a city full of charitable givers who want to lend a helping hand for a variety of reasons. A woman may want to donate money to Susan G. Komen for the Cure after battling breast cancer. A man may want to give money to the American Red Cross after seeing the devastation a tornado can cause. Or a former student may want to leave money to the MIAC school that gave them an education and an experience.
An estate plan is a very personal legal document. It can include a variety of legal tools that are all designed to help better ensure your assets are passed along to future generations in line with your wishes. In some cases, this may include disinheriting a child or other loved one.
Across the arc of American history, our nation’s labor and employment laws have trended toward greater protection for workers from wage and hour abuse, but there have been setbacks. For example, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt 75 years ago, it had been watered down substantially from its original plan, which would have set a maximum workweek of 35 to 40 hours, with a minimum wage of $12 to $15 a week. Instead, the law as passed st the maximum workweek at 44 hours and the minimum wage at $11 a week. Moreover, it only applied to about 20 percent of the labor force.
An interesting wrongful termination ruling came recently from the State of New York’s Appellate Division, involving one of the nation’s largest wholesale grocery distributers, C&S Wholesale Grocers. While the specifics of New York law differ from that of Minnesota, the principles of the decision would apply here and in most U.S. jurisdictions.
Many Americans presume estate planning is only for the elderly or ill. This presumption was proven wrong recently with the untimely death of James Gandolfini. The actor was famous for his role as head of the Soprano family on HBO's hit show. Mr. Gandolfini died unexpectedly in Rome at the age of 51.
What could Minnesota’s own Target have been thinking? According to a race discrimination lawsuit filed by three former employees who worked at a California Target warehouse, their managers were virtually all Caucasians who routinely used racial slurs against Hispanics and otherwise discriminated against people of Latino origin. The three Hispanic men claim they were fired in retaliation for making a complaint to human resources.
A recent report by Public Radio found farmers are working well into their sunset years. Instead of kicking back and enjoying retirement, farmers often work well over the age of 65. In fact, the subject of their interview was 84 years old and had no intention of retiring in the near future.
A type of workplace discrimination that is perhaps not so new has increasingly received media attention over the past few years. It has become clear that a vulnerable population of American domestic violence victims is not only suffering mistreatment at home but also often at work as well. In one recent case, a California teacher was allegedly subject to wrongful termination after her abusive ex-husband violated the terms of his restraining order and confronted her at her workplace.
Each week this blog will be a platform for discussing estate planning issues that are relevant to Minnesotans. With the economy finally showing improvement and governments taking steps to raise revenue, Twin Cities residents would do well to update their estate planning documents to ensure that their legacies are protected for younger generations.