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The ARRA Makes Significant Changes to COBRA Continuation Benefits

Jun. 16, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) of 2009 created a significant subsidy for many individuals who become eligible for COBRA benefits. ARRA puts a temporary cap of 35% of the amount of the cost of the COBRA premium that an eligible individual must pay. Previously, the individual was required to pay the full cost of the COBRA premiums. The employer or, in some cases, the multiemployer health plan or insurer, must pay the remaining 65%, but will be reimbursed by way of a federal payroll tax credit. To be eligible for the ARRA subsidized COBRA benefits, individuals must have been involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009, and must elect COBRA continuation benefits. If the individual is eligible for other group health coverage or Medicare, the individual is not eligible for the ARRA subsidy.

Further, those individuals who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and February 16, 2009, when ARRA was signed into law, and could have elected COBRA but did not, or did elect COBRA but subsequently stopped continuation coverage prior to February 16, 2009, must be given another opportunity to elect continuation coverage.

If you have questions about how the ARRA changes to COBRA affect you or your business, please call an employment law attorney at Blethen, Gage & Krause, PLLP.

BGK Attorneys Present at SMAHRA Employment Law Seminar

Jun. 07, 2009

Julia Corbett, Silas Danielson, Elizabeth Weinandt, and Jill Baker presented at the Southern Minnesota Area Human Resources Association Spring 2009 Employment Law Seminar.

The seminar addressed various timely topics in employment law, including: changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act; Drug and Alcohol Use Policies; Performance Standards and Disabled Employees; Disciplinary Documentation and Performance Appraisals; and Effective Termination Processes, including High Risk Terminations.

Julia Corbett Elected to Greater Mankato Growth Board of Directors

May. 21, 2009

Blethen Gage & Krause, PLLP is pleased to announce that Julia Ketcham Corbett has been elected to the Greater Mankato Growth Board of Directors. Sixteen candidates were nominated, and Julia was one of four chosen. Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. is the area’s integrated chamber of commerce and economic development organization serving Mankato, North Mankato and the regional marketplace. Julia is proud to serve as a board member and advance the interests of the greater Mankato area.

Minnesota Supreme Court Decides Important Sexual Harassment Case

Jun. 05, 2008

No Strict Employer Liability for Harassment by Supervisor
On May 30, 2008, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Frieler v. Carlson Marketing Group, Inc. The opinion is important for several reasons. The court first ruled that a 2001 amendment to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) meant that a plaintiff no longer needed to prove that his or her employer knew or should have known about the sexual harassment and failed to take timely and appropriate action in order to bring a successful claim. >> Continue reading.

Minnesota Law and Politics Named Jim Turk as One of Minnesota’s Top 40 ADR Attorneys

Jan. 31, 2008

Blethen, Gage and Krause would like to congratulate Jim Turk on being named one of Minnesota’s Top 40 ADR Attorneys. Jim is a mediator and arbitrator with more than 30 years of experience.

To contact Jim Turk or another member of our team, please call 507.345.1166

Blethen, Gage and Krause sponsor MSU Play

Nov. 19, 2007

Bus Stop by William Inge
Private Performance on November 7, 2007
Curtain Time 7:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Blethen, Gage and Krause, PLLP

Four passengers and the bus driver are stranded at Grace’s Diner between Kansas City and Topeka by a snow storm; a young rancher, Beau Decker, returning from a rodeo with his older sidekick; a dancer, Cheri, who has been abducted by the rancher who wants to marry her; and an alcoholic old professor, Dr. Lyman, who has an eye for very young girls. Beau tries to convince Cheri that he loves her and that she should marry him. Cheri enlists the aid of the local sheriff to help her. Dr. Lyman spouts Shakespeare and tries to sweep a young teenage waitress off of her feet and gets drunker and drunker. In the end, each has something to learn about life, love and most of all about themselves.

For more information on our sponsorships, please call LaNay at 507.345.1166

Kevin Velasquez Joins Blethen, Gage and Krause

Aug. 31, 2007

Kevin joined the firm in August 2007. Prior to joining the firm, Kevin worked for a financial services company servicing defined contribution pension plans. This position provided valuable background knowledge of various employee benefits, tax, and investment issues. During law school, Kevin clerked at Stanley, Lande & Hunter, P.C. in Muscatine, Iowa, where he gained experience in all aspects of the practice of law.