• February 25, 2013

As reported today by Jim Hammerand of the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Law Blog, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled today in a published opinion that a Minnesota statute that makes personal-care assistants (“PCAs”) who provide direct care to an immediate family member ineligible for unemployment is unconstitutional.

Because the distinction between immediate-family-member PCAs and non-immediate-family-member PCAs is based on anecdotal evidence of a hypothetical fraud scheme, there is no genuine and substantial distinction between these classifications. And even if the distinction between these classes were genuine, there is no evident connection between the claimed fraud and the prescribed remedy of denying unemployment benefits to all immediate-family-member PCAs. We therefore hold that classifying employment provided by immediate-family-member PCAs as noncovered employment violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Minnesota Constitution.

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