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

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Partially Deaf Worker May Require Accommodation

Posted on August 2, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I wrote several blogs about potential areas of new disability claims relating to the use of caffeine and a new mental health disorder that may affect non-productive employees. A recent federal court case held that a partially deaf retail store pharmacy t…

Management Comments can Create a Smoking Gun for Discrimination Claims

Posted on August 7, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit gives a prime example of how comments by an employer-representative can support a claim of discrimination. A sales manager in his late fifties showed a potential basis for a claim of ag…

What's in Store for the Future - National Labor Relations Board

Posted on August 23, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

On August 22, I spoke to the Employment Law Institute sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin on the topic of, "National Labor Relations Board:  What Will the Future Bring?" This topic focused on the recent congressional approval of new members to the NL…

Federal Court Upholds NLRB Approval of Mini-Bargaining Unit

Posted on September 3, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (the Federal Court covering the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) held that the NLRB decision allowing for a "mini-union" was a valid and proper exercise of Board authority. In this ca…

Obesity as a Protected Category?

Posted on September 18, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

I have written blogs in the past about obesity not being a protected category under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Over the weekend, the American Medical Association announced that obesity should now be conside…

Government Paralysis - Potential Liability Still Exists

Posted on October 1, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

The news today talks about "government paralysis" and the likelihood that government will not re-focus for several weeks until everything is decided regarding the continuing resolution debate and the debt limit debate. A caution to employers however, tha…

Treat Employees the Same - Avoid Discrimination Claim

Posted on October 21, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (governing Wisconsin) accents the importance of an employer treating employees the same especially in the event of disciplinary action issued to an employee. In this decision, the employer termi…

Caution - Duty To Accommodate May Be Expanded

Posted on November 13, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has opened the door to consideration of a duty to accommodate under the Americans With Disabilities Act that goes beyond the need to accommodate an employee with assistance to perform the essential …

Being At Work Is An Essential Job Function

Posted on November 18, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A colleague wrote recently that the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that when determining whether an employee is disabled or not because the employee cannot perform the essential functions of the job, the key document to be considered by th…

Flu Shots - Required or Prohibited

Posted on November 27, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Many states have adopted laws that require mandatory influenza (flu) vaccinations for certain health care professions. A recent hearing on Wisconsin Assembly Bill 247 would take the opposite direction. This proposed legislation would prohibit employers (…

Indefinite Leave As Reasonable Accommodation?

Posted on December 4, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Deciding what to do when an employee says she cannot return to work because of a medical condition, even after exhausting all FMLA leave, is one of the most difficult questions faced by an employer, especially in Wisconsin. I have written before about th…

Unemployment Compensation Law Changes - Happy New Year?

Posted on December 9, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Wisconsin employers will receive some relief from the employee-focused unemployment compensation law in Wisconsin after January 1. The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a new law which makes a number of changes to the unemployment compensation law affecti…

Are Quickie Elections Coming in 2014?

Posted on December 16, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent action by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has signaled that a new rule on "quickie" elections will be up for debate (and likely passage) in 2014. Several days ago, the NLRB voluntarily dismissed the appeal of a federal District Court d…

Arbitrate Your Employment Disputes?

Posted on December 17, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling from the NLRB and held that an agreement between an employer and employee that provided for arbitration of any disputes (including class-action claims) was valid and did not viol…

Happy New Year (?)

Posted on December 31, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

This is the time of year that we say "thank you" and "best wishes" to all. On behalf of Ruder Ware, I want to thank all of our clients for the confidence they have shown in our representation. I also want to thank all of the human resource professionals …

Traveling to Work - New Employer Liability

Posted on January 6, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

Employers understand they may be liable for employee injuries that arise while an employee is reporting to work, such as an automobile accident on the way to work or an injury when walking into the company premises from the parking lot. These potential a…

Asking Questions of a Disabled Applicant

Posted on January 8, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

One of the most challenging situations faced by an employer is deciding whether or not to question an applicant about their condition when it is obvious the applicant suffers from some type of disabling condition (i.e. applicant arrives in a wheelchair o…

Minnesota Joins Other States in Protecting Applicant Information

Posted on January 13, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

As of January 1, 2014, employers in Minnesota may not ask an employee for information about their criminal background in the employment application process. This is known as "Ban-the-Box" law which has been passed in seven states, and similar laws are pe…

Light Duty Only for Work-Related Injuries  Pregnancy Discrimination?

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

Many employers have adopted a light duty policy that only applies for an employee that suffers an on-the-job injury. The theory is to allow light duty for work-related injuries in order to encourage an injured employee to return to regular duty. Such a p…

Interactive Process is a Must

Posted on January 28, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Dean R. Dietrich
Attorney
Wausau Office
, Filed under Employment

A recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Wisconsin) again emphasized the absolute necessity that an employer engage in an interactive process with an employee claiming a disability before making any decision regarding acc…