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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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Age Discrimination Cases Can be Easy to Prove

Posted on April 15, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Several recent stories have talked about huge layoffs because of a loss of federal contracts and a decline in available work. Companies are looking at large layoffs to reduce costs and survive the cutbacks in revenue from the loss of contracts. A reductio…

No More Record Keeping for Professionals

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

Wisconsin has always been a little different because it required employers to keep a record of the hours worked by a professional employee who was exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This requirement also applied to…

Perfectly Clear Successor - Be Careful

Posted on April 30, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Two recent events have refocused a concern about becoming a successor owner of a company in a setting where the company is being acquired/purchased. Situations arise on a regular basis where a company will purchase another business with the intention of …

Door Open to Working at Home

Posted on May 2, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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…

Safety First

This past April, Governor Walker signed over 100 bills into law. A number of the bills affect local government units. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will be touching on those new laws to provide some guidance to municipalities on how bus…

Denying Unemployment Benefits is Starting to Work

Posted on May 9, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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…

Pray Before Local Government Meeting - Honor All Religions

The United States Supreme Court, in the recent decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway held that prayers before a town meeting delivered by a "chaplain of the month" did not violate the Establishment Clause and therefore were not prohibited from being use…

Closed Session Agendas - How Much Detail?

There is a great deal of debate how much detail you must use on the open meeting agenda when the local government board is convening into closed session. It is clear the agenda must state what section of the Open Meetings Law is being used as the excepti…

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

Posted on May 21, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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 Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, 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…