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191 Results for Articles by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
In The Blue Ink Blog.

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Wisconsin Act 10 Legal Challenges are Over - Managing the Local Government Workforce

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled the provisions of Wisconsin Act 10 subject to legal challenge are constitutional and therefore binding on all local government employees and public sector unions. In addition, a recent challenge initiated by the Wisc…

Attention Deficit Disorder - Disability?

Posted on August 20, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I have always been concerned that attention deficit disorder would become a commonplace claim of a disability by employees, especially employees who are subject to disciplinary action. A recent decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gives employe…

Duty to Accommodate Pre-Existing Conditions of an Employee?

Posted on August 22, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

There has always been a question whether an employer is required to provide accommodations to an employee who has suffered an injury that impacts the employee's ability to work when the injury occurred before the employee was hired. These types of injuri…

Update: Watch Out for NLRB Activism

Posted on August 26, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I recently attended an employment law seminar sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin. One of the presenters was the Officer in Charge of Sub region 30 of the National Labor Relations Board. In a very candid and open discussion, the Officer in Charge mad…

Lazy Days of Summer are Gone - EEOC Files Lawsuits

Posted on August 29, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

It appears the lazy days of summer have gone away. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed two lawsuits showing its aggressive stance to "cleanup" its view of discrimination matters. One lawsuit involved discrimination under the…

English-Only Policies Under Scrutiny

Posted on September 3, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Some companies have adopted an English-only policy which requires that employees use English as the only language allowed in the workplace. This type of policy is often adopted for safety reasons to ensure that everyone understands what is being said in …

Using "Like" on Facebook may be Protected Speech

Posted on September 5, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board (August 25, 2014) held that an employee using the "Like" feature on a Facebook page to show support for comments by another employee about the conduct of the company payroll system constituted pro…

EEOC Challenges Wellness Program

In a recent complaint filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the EEOC has challenged a wellness program administered by a Wisconsin company. Under the wellness program employees were asked to complete a health risk assessment, including questions r…

Decision on "Like" Facebook Protection is Appealed

Posted on September 17, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I recently blogged about a decision from the National Labor Relations Board holding that an action by a worker to "Like" a comment on Facebook about the poor conduct of a company was considered protected speech under the National Labor Relations Act. The…

EEOC Strikes Again

Posted on September 17, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I mentioned in a blog several weeks ago that summer was gone and the EEOC was embarking upon a renewed effort to "flex its muscles" and pursue claims designed to limit the rights of employers. The EEOC has acted again by bringing a lawsuit against a Cali…

Working from Home May Not be Automatic

Posted on September 18, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I wrote a blog a number of months ago about a federal Court of Appeals decision which strongly suggested that working from home would be a required reasonable accommodation in certain circumstances. A decision involving Ford Motor Company strongly sugges…

Bring Your Comfort Animal to Work  Everyday?

Posted on September 29, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I am familiar with the national movement of "bring your child to work," but now I am wondering if we will have a national movement to bring your "comfort animal" to work. A recent federal court decision in Hawaii held that an employer may have discrimina…

EEOC Brings More Complaints

Posted on October 1, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I have written over the past several months regarding the activism at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The beat goes on. Several recent complaints have been filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seeking to protect employees fro…

Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Appeal on Plan Design Issue

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently announced that it will be considering 13 new cases during its upcoming session. Absent from that announcement was a decision to consider the appeal by the City of Milwaukee Police Union which sought Supreme Court revi…

U.S. Supreme Court Reviews Notice Requirement

Posted on October 29, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to review a decision on a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against national clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. which focuses on the duty of an employee to request an ac…

Adjust Job Duties

Posted on November 3, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has reaffirmed the duty of employers to consider minor adjustments to job duties as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This decision, while dealing with the ADA, rei…

Are Employers Receiving A Special Christmas Gift This Year?

Posted on November 20, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Some commentators have suggested that the recent Republican vote will limit the activity of the National Labor Relations Board and avoid the potential for more activist activity from the Board. It is not clear, however, how the House and Senate can effec…

Holiday Party - Celebration?

Posted on November 24, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Everyone is thinking about the holiday season. Many human resource professionals are wondering whether or not the company should sponsor a holiday party and what limits should be applied to such an event. The best answer is to be reasonable and to be mor…

NLRB Attacks Independent Contractor Status

Posted on November 25, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board has attacked the test that is generally used to determine whether or not an individual is an independent contractor or is considered an employee eligible for voting to be represented by a union. In …

Dealing with Employee Facebook Postings can be Dangerous

Posted on December 3, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A number of recent decisions have laid out some of the risks related to employee Facebook postings and decisions by the employer to terminate an employee for inappropriate statements on Facebook. These decisions have involved constitutional challenges to…