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Employment Law

THE OVERTIME RULE In 2014, President Obama tasked the Secretary of Labor to make changes to the overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The goal was to align the rule with the original intent behind the FLSA and to make the rule easier for employers and employees…
Recently the United States Supreme Court narrowed the definition of "supervisor" for employment-related claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.  The Court's 5-4 decision in Vance v. Ball State University resolves the inconsistency among jurisdictions as to how much authority an employee must exercise to…
Do you routinely ask job applicants for their family medical history>  Do you conduct pre-employent physical examinations, or ask a propsective employee to complete a medical questionnaire?  If so, and the information you gather through these means is used to determine the applicant's position or fitness for duty, you may…
Have you ever questioned what happens to federal claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") when a business is bought and sold?  If you are a Wisconsin buyer, beware.  Federal law covering our area stands in contrast to Wisconsin law.  Teed v. Thomas & Betts Power Solutions provides that…
Employers know that both Wisconsin and federal laws protect their employees from workplace discrimination.  While these laws cover the same relative ground, employers may be surprised to know that the standards utilized under each are different.  For example, a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") may not…
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 15:14

New I-9 Form Must be Used by May 8, 2013

Another new employment form goes into effect.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  This new form as released on March 8, 2013, and is required to be used by employers on and after May 8, 2013.  DHS also issued…
The federal FMLA reached its 20-year anniversary on February 5, 2013. The U.S. Department of Labor marked the 20th anniversary by issuing a final rule implementing two important expansions of FMLA protections that go into effect this week. The first expansion provides families of eligible veterans with the same job-protected…
Has an employee ever requested a transfer to another office as an accommodation of his or her disability?  This type of accommodation was the subject of a recent United States Court of Appeals decision, which employers should consider when dealing with similar requests.   Factual Background The employee was a…
Most employers are aware that eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for a “son or daughter” who has a serious health condition. While employees will not question…
In my November 2012 Employment Law Alert I wrote about a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that found “at will” employment waiver language unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In my December 2012 Employment Law Alert I wrote about another recent NLRB decision that found blanket…
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 14:28

Arrest and Conviction Record Discrimination

While an employer has an interest in the type of individuals it employs, the Wisconsin legislature has determined that employees with arrest and criminal records are a protected class of citizens that must be treated fairly.  The purpose is to prevent employment decisions from being made based on the stigma…
Recently, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") held in two reported decisions that Employers who have blanket rules prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations of any kind, violate Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").  Section 8 prohibits an employer from restraining an employee's Section 7 rights, which…
It is standard practice for employers of non-union employees to include at-will employment language in their employee handbooks or contracts.  The goal is to inform the employee that employment is terminable without cause, at the will of either party.  Two recent NLRB cases have made widely used language that is…
If you are an employer, it is likely you have only one or two chances to avoid the problems, and potential liability, that comes with a bad employee.  You can minimize the risks by taking a few specific and appropriate actions. Prior to Hiring Wisconsin recognizes the tort of “negligent…
Thursday, 21 January 2010 00:00

Tips for Employers Making Employment Decisions

Engage legal counsel early in the process. Review thoroughly the relevant facts and files prior to making the decision. Use our firm’s “independent” internal review process so that decisions are reviewed before being finalized. After discussion with counsel, prepare a note or memo to document the decision, the supporting evidence, and…
Thursday, 21 January 2010 00:00

Changes in Employment Law

2009 Wisconsin Act 20, effective July 1, 2009, expands Wisconsin Fair Employment Law to make available compensatory and punitive damages for employment discrimination.  This is a significant change to the law, and presents new opportunities and new pitfalls for both employees and employers.  These damages are now available along with…