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182 Results for Articles by In The Blue Ink Blog.

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Door Open to Working at Home

Posted on May 2, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has opened the door to the argument that an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation of allowing an employee to work from home instead of being at the office. In this decisio…

Denying Unemployment Benefits is Starting to Work

Posted on May 9, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

The definition of misconduct under the Wisconsin Unemployment Compensation Law was changed as of the first of the year. We are now starting to see decisions under this new standard that limit employees from receiving unemployment benefits when being term…

Access to Company Property During Off-Duty Time - No Restrictions

Posted on May 21, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

An employer would normally think that it could pass a work rule that says an employee does not have access to company property when the employee is off-duty and not working. This makes sense, because there is no reason for the employee to be on company p…

Texting While Driving - Illegal But Paid

Posted on May 21, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

Many municipalities and states have adopted a law that prohibits texting while someone is driving. Individuals are prohibited from texting or even dialing the phone while driving. This prohibition is probably violated much more than it is complied with, …

Off-Duty Conduct - Taking Adverse Employment Action

Posted on May 29, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

There is a lot of controversy today about the right of an employer to take adverse employment action (i.e. firing someone) for off-duty conduct. Employers have more access to things happening outside the workplace and are very concerned about their overa…

Mixed Motive For Discrimination Decision - Be Careful

Posted on June 3, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision highlighted the importance of employers being very careful when making employment decisions to ensure that part of the rationale for a decision is not discriminatory in nature. In this decision, Milwaukee Coun…

Watch Out - Protections Against Swearing at Boss

Posted on June 4, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

The National Labor Relations Board continues to reach out to provide protection to employees. In a recent decision, the Board concluded that an outburst in the workplace by an employee was considered protected speech, because the employee did not explici…

Is Six Months Enough?

Posted on June 6, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has addressed the question whether a six-month leave of absence for a disabled employee is sufficient to satisfy the reasonable accommodation requirement. The Court of Appeals found that Kansas St…

Stop Talking About Your Compensation - Not

Posted on June 10, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

Many companies have a policy that prohibits employees from talking about their salary or benefits in order to avoid morale issues in the workplace. It is sometimes hard to enforce a policy like this, but companies believe it is important to make it clear…

Contracted Employees: Will You Become a New Employer?

Posted on July 7, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

Many companies use contracted employees to avoid the cost of human resources services and benefits. Under these arrangements, a company will hire another company to provide the employees that will do all or a portion of the production work for the busine…

EEOC Issues Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines - No Real Change for Wisconsin Employers

Posted on July 22, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

In the last two weeks, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued an Enforcement Guidance document on pregnancy discrimination and related issues. This Guidance is a comprehensive statement by the EEOC on pregnancy discrimination and t…

Micro-Unions: Is This The Future?

Posted on July 31, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

Two recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board in the retail sector have again raised questions about the new concept of micro-unions. A micro-union is a union representing a small group of employees within a large employer. This phenom…

Broad Confidentiality Rule - Violation of Employee Rights?

Posted on August 11, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board has again highlighted the lengths to which the NLRB will go to seek out protection of employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. This Section allows employees to communic…

New Decision - Same Result - Same Worry

Posted on August 12, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

Another decision from the National Labor Relations Board has created the same worry for employers. An NLRB judge recently ruled that several portions of a company employee handbook restricted the rights of workers to organize and discuss their conditions…

Attention Deficit Disorder - Disability?

Posted on August 20, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, 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 Ruder Ware Attorneys, 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 Ruder Ware Attorneys, 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 Ruder Ware Attorneys, 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 Ruder Ware Attorneys, 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 Ruder Ware Attorneys, 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…