New Federal Regulations for Emotional Support Animals

December 9, 2020  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

The federal Department of Transportation has issued their long-awaited final rule regarding transporting emotional and service animals by air. This rule was enacted in response to the difficulties that airlines and other passengers were experiencing with various types of animals designated by the owner as an emotional support animal. The lack of clarity on the rights of individuals utilizing emotional support animals were highlighted in instances where fellow passengers were physically harmed by an unrestrained (and evidently untrained) animal nebulously characterized as an emotional support animal. Read on to learn more about the new federal regulations for emotional support animals as well as service animals. Airline Authority When the final rule goes into effect (30 days after it is published in the federal register), airlines will gain significant authority to regulate emotional support and service animals while flying. Airlines are permitted to treat emotional support animals as pets. Briefly stated, airlines do not need to treat emotional support animals as service animals. Rather, airlines may recognize emotional support animals as pets rather than service animals.  Airlines have also gained the ability to restrict service animals in a number of areas. This final rule defines a service animal as a dog, regardless of breed or type, that is individually trained to do work or…

Read More

Scott Lepak Named to the Public Employment Relations Board

November 19, 2020  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. is pleased to announce that Governor Walz has appointed shareholder Scott Lepak to serve on the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Scott will serve as the alternate public employer’s representative. The Board is the body charged with addressing unfair labor practice charges under the public sector labor relations law. This Board was originally active from 1971 to 1991 and was recreated in 2014.  Scott is a shareholder in our labor and employment section. He has been working in this area for well over 30 years. Scott noted that he appeared before this Board as an advocate during its original mission. He is delighted to now serve in this new capacity. He also pointed out, in response to numerous questions from public employer clients, that he will continue to represent public sector employer and municipal clients.  “This is very much a less than part time gig,” Scott said. “We needed another representative to get cases processed when the regular public sector board member had a conflict or was unavailable. I am excited to join the well-regarded members of this Board when needed as an alternate.”  Congratulations, Scott, on your appointment to the Minnesota Public Employment Relations Board. Scott M. Lepak has represented employers on labor and employment matters in…

Read More

Scott Lepak to Present on Police Arbitration Reform to Minnesota State Bar

November 12, 2020  |  Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

On Friday, November 20, Barna, Guzy & Steffen attorney, Scott Lepak, will co-present a one-hour program on the practical impacts of the new Minnesota Police Accountability Act in the arbitration process. The program, which is sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a part of continuing legal education, will be held online beginning at noon. Lepak, who is also the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services, will discuss how the legislative changes are impacting the agency, how they select the panel of arbitrators, and the rulemaking needed for the process. Immediately following the main presentation, Scott, along with attorney/labor union arbitration specialist Gregg Corwin, will share strategies for advising clients in this area, as well as examine the questions that are left unanswered in the wake of these changes. Both presenters are experts in legal arbitration and will offer insights on what to expect from this new process. To reserve your spot, visit https://www.mnbar.org/members/cle-events/event?EventID=4256 The deadline to register is 2pm on Thursday, November 19. Barna, Guzy & Steffen has an outstanding team of labor law professionals available to talk to you about your specific needs. Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Read More