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Searching for Articles published in October 2013.
Found 63 Results.

Treat Employees the Same - Avoid Discrimination Claim

Posted on October 21, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 terminated a Hispanic employee but only reprimanded a non-Hispanic employee for conduct in violation of company policies that appeared to be similar. The Court of Appeals in Perez v. Thorntons, Inc. (No. 12-3669, 9/30/13), decided that the summary judgment granted to the employer should be reversed and a trial should be held to determine whether the violations were similar in nature and thereby supported a claim of discrimination based upon national origin and gender. The Court did not conclude that the violations were similar but only held that a trial must be conducted to determine the facts and circumstances regarding the violation committed by each employee and the rationale for the discipline issued. The important aspect of this decision is that courts will review employer disciplinary action to determine whether there was differential treatment between two employees that may support a claim of discrimination if the differential treatment was potentially based upon an employee being in a protected category. This is why it is important for employers to be consistent when considering disciplinary action even in an at-will employment setting where legal challenges to disciplinary action are very limited. The discretion exercised by Company officials will be reviewed to ensure that the Company is not taking more aggressive disciplinary action because an employee falls into a protected category. Employers should keep records of disciplinary actions taken and require any disciplinary action being taken by a supervisor to be reviewed by a human resource employee or other company official.

Case Studies

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

At Ruder Ware, we consider ourselves lucky to work with clients across a multitude of industry sectors  from entrepreneurs to family businesses to established corporations. Below is a snapshot of clients weve featured in our print advertising campaign. Each photo links to a case study briefly detailing their story and the type of work weve done for them.

Municipal Employees are Required to Contribute to Retirement; The Only Question is When?

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

Based upon the dismissal of the lawsuit involving Wisconsin Act 10, municipal employees will be required to pay one half of the actuarially-determined cost of retirement benefits, but it is still unclear when this employee-required contribution is to begin. Wisconsin Act 10 is supposed to be published on June 28 and become effective on June 29. The assumption is that any municipal (but not public safety or transit) employee, who is not subject to an existing, non-expired labor agreement, will be required to pay the employee-required contribution to the Wisconsin Retirement System beginning in the first pay period after June 29. This assumption, however, may not be accurate. The Secretary of the Department of Administration has indicated that the Department of Administration will determine the effective date for commencing employee-required contributions for local government units. A different date is apparently going to be determined for local government employees and for state employees. What appears to be a delay in the implementation of the employee-required contribution is related to the ability of the Department of Employee Trust Funds to accept employee payments as part of the regular reporting of retirement fund contributions. Here is what is known about the retirement contributions: Municipal employees are required to pay 5.8% of their salary as the employee-required WRS contribution; Municipal employers are required to contribute 5.8% toward the WRS contribution; new language in the Budget Bill describes this requirement even though it was assumed to be the case; Public safety employees (police, fire or deputy sheriff) and transit employees are not automatically required to pay the employee-required contribution, however, such contribution is subject to negotiations with the labor union representing those employees; this is likely a subject for future negotiations with bargaining units representing these employees; The employee-required contribution identified under state law applies to all municipal employees except for: those employees covered by a non-expired labor agreement; an individual who is subject to an individual employment contract that has not been modified in any way; or the municipal employee is a police or fire department supervisor, which positions are exempt from the employee-required contribution if the municipal employer pays the entire retirement contribution for the unionized employees in the police or fire departments; The employee-required contribution for those employees who are currently covered by an existing labor agreement will commence at the time of expiration of the existing labor agreement for other than public safety and transit employees; and Newly hired employees in the police or fire departments (designated as public safety employees) will be required to pay the WRS employee-required contribution at the time of hire for a position in any public safety bargaining unit that does not have a settled labor agreement or starting with a successor labor agreement where one currently exists. Ruder Ware will continue to monitor the developments regarding the payment of retirement contributions by municipal employees. More information should be coming from the Department of Administration in the near future. If you have questions regarding the above, please contact Dean Dietrich, the author of this article, or any of the attorneys on the Local Governments Focus Team, or the School Districts Focus Team of Ruder Ware.

Community Information - Wausau, WI

Posted on October 17, 2013, Authored by ,

Community Information Wausau, WI Nestled in the heart of North Central Wisconsin, Wausau is home to just under 40,000 people. Known for a higher quality of life and thriving Arts community, Wausau is within an hour drive of the Northwoods. 99116076406 Marathon County is the largest of Wisconsin's 72 counties, one-third of the county's land area is forest land. Focused on reforestation, over 400,000 trees have been planted each year for the last ten years. 28,000 acres has been permanently marked as county forest land for forestry, wildlife and recreation. In addition to the Granite Peak Ski Area, the county maintains five cross-country ski trails not to mention the miles of snowmobile trails and the 18 mile stretch of Mountain Bay State Park Trail's 83 miles running from the Village of Weston to Green Bay. To compare the cost of living of Wausau, WI to other top Wisconsin/Minnesota cities, note the following figures from Sperling's Best Places. Cost of Living in Wausau, WI is: 15.5% less than Madison, WI 15.5% less than Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI area 23.7% less than Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area For a well-rounded view of Wausau, WI, follow this link City of Wausau. EDUCATION CESA #9 University of Wisconsin  Marathon Campus Northcentral Technical College Wausau School District D.C. Everest School District Globe University Rasmussen College NEWS Wausau Daily Herald City Pages The Business News WAOW, Channel 9 WSAW, Channel 7 WJFW, Channel 12 WFXS, Channel 11 Wisconsin Public Radio - Wausau Wisconsin Public Television AREA EVENTS Chalkfest Balloon Rally Kayak Races Wausau Festival of Arts Birds in Art Big Bull Falls Blues Fest Wisconsin Valley Fair Concerts on the Square ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Performing Arts Foundation Center for Visual Arts Wausau Area Events Wausau Conservatory of Music Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co. Red Eye Brew Pub Bull Falls Brewery Wausau Farmers Market QUALITY OF LIFE St. Clares Hospital Aspirus Wausau Hospital Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce Wausau Livability SPORTS AND RECREATION Wausau Canoe/Kayak Corporation Granite Peak Ski Hill Hiking and Biking  Mountain Bay Trail Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Rib Mountain State Park Eau Claire Dells County Park Wisconsin Woodchucks

Local Government Seminar - Fall 2010

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, Wausau, WI Fraud and the Local Government Randy Beard and Michael Yankunas of Wipfli LLP You can hardly read a newspaper these days without coming across an article on a fraud that has been committed. Most organizations, including local governments, are of the opinion that, "this can't happen to us." This session will focus on real life examples of fraud that have been perpetrated in local governments and what could have been done to prevent or detect the fraud sooner Health Care Reform and Its Impact on Local Government Attorney Mary Ellen Schill The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Health Care Reform) has a significant impact on all employers, both private and public sectors. Unlike most federal employee benefit legislation impacting employers, the rules for both sectors are virtually the same. This session will provide you with a working knowledge of Health Care Reform and its impact on governmental employers. Update on Wisconsin Public Records Law: What Must You Do Now to Inspect Your Public Records? Ruder Ware Alumni Attorneys A recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision has held that certain records (including email) generated from local government computers may or may not qualify as public records subject to disclosure under the Wisconsin Public Records Law. This presentation will give an update regarding the recent Supreme Court decision and other decisions impacting the duties of a public records custodian.

Health Care and Local Government

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, Wausau, WI Update on Challenges to Wisconsin Act 10 Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Mary Ellen Schill Attorneys commented on current issues surrounding the Dane County Circuit Court decision. Health Care Reform: What are the Next Steps for Local Government? Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Mary Ellen Schill This program will discuss the next steps for local government units now that the Supreme Court has upheld the legality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While there are still questions about the future of healthcare reform, local governments have to be prepared to comply with the many requirements of the Act. The presenters will discuss the next steps under the healthcare reform requirements and how they may impact the employment setting and future discussions with public sector employee groups. Wellness Programs: Are They the Next Savior for Controlling Health Insurance Costs in Your Municipality? Mary Ellen Schill and Kevin Terry of Ruder Ware, and Jeff Steckbauer and John Preuss, M3 Insurance Solutions, Inc. Many private and public sector companies are implementing wellness programs as the next step in addressing the high costs of health insurance and its impact on municipal budgets. This panel would discuss the legal and practical considerations when implementing a wellness program for all employees. Presenters will discuss the different types of programs that can be implemented, the costs of implementation and the legal pitfalls that arise under the healthcare reform law and other applicable federal and state laws.

Local Government Seminar - Spring 2013

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, Wausau, WI Wisconsin Act 10: Where Are We and Where Are We Going (and When)? Attorney Dean Dietrich Local governments are anxiously awaiting the decision of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on the constitutionality of Wisconsin Act 10. This presentation will give an update regarding the status of the litigation and discuss the decisions that need to be made by local government officials during this waiting period. This presentation will also discuss the impact of the recent federal court decision upholding the constitutionality of the various changes incorporated into Wisconsin Act 10. Health Care Reform: Which Employees are Covered? Are You Going to Pay or Play? Attorney Mary Ellen Schill Local governments are anxiously awaiting further clarification of the feasibility of using health insurance exchanges (including the Small Business Health Option Program or "SHOP" in 2014. Some municipal employers are still unsure whether they are subject to the shared responsibility provisions in the Affordable Care Act. This presentation will address the current state of regulations and provide assistance to municipal employers to determine whether they are applicable to large employers for purposes of the pay or play mandate, and in considering health insurance exchanges and SHOP for their employees. Public Records Law: Can You Keep Anything Confidential? Alumni Attorney Several recent decisions have clarified what types of records are considered public records that are subject to release under the Public Records Law. This presentation will discuss recent decisions and provide clarification of actions that must be taken by local governments to comply with the Public Records Law and the Open Meetings Law. Disciplining Public Employees: Identifying the Boundaries and How to Avoid Crossing Them. Attorney Kevin Terry School boards and local government boards are struggling with determining what standards are required to decide whether to terminate or non-renew an employee. Most municipal governments have eliminated the just cause standard for discipline and employee termination, but are looking for clarification of when an employee should be disciplined or terminated from employment. This presentation will address employee discipline in the new environment of limited collective bargaining and offer guidance to school officials and local government officials on dealing with employee performance, discipline and termination.

Local Government 101 Seminar: Basics for School Boards and Local Municipalities

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, Wausau, WI Responding to Public Records Requests: What Documents Must be Provided Upon Request and How Can Local Governments Recoup Costs? Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Kevin Terry Election season will no doubt continue to bring public records requests to the forefront of school districts and local municipalities. This presentation will outline the basics in responding to a public records request. The presenter will help local governments determine what must be produced, how the documents must be transmitted to the requester, and how local governments can recoup costs incurred in responding to the request. Social Media in the Workplace: How Does Social Media Impact Public Records Requests? Attorney Dean Dietrich and Kevin Terry This presentation will discuss how the growing impact that electronic communication through social media affects the workplaces of school districts and local municipalities. Communications between employees, management, and the public have become readily available through social media and the presenters will discuss some of the key steps local governments can take to utilize this resource effectively. Additionally, the presenters will address how public records requests can include correspondence on social media platforms. Open Meetings: When Can Business Be Conducted In Closed Session? Alumni Attorney This presentation will cover the basics of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law. Included will be definitions of a "meeting", of a "governmental body", and the procedural requirements of proper notice prior to the meeting and member conduct during a meeting. Additionally, local governments in Wisconsin are facing issues in employment relations and in general operations that have not been presented to officials in the past. This uncertainty creates a desire to conduct meetings in a closed session. This presentation will outline when local governments can conduct business in closed session and how to follow proper procedure. Additionally, the presenters give advice to local government officials about communicating internally. Certain communications can implicate the open meetings law and the presenters will provide advice on assuring that the Wisconsin statutes are adhered to when moving into closed session. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in Local Government Decision Making: What are the Limitations of State Law Impacting Local Government Officials? Tyler Richardson, Ruder Ware paralegal and Attorney Dean Dietrich This presentation will discuss the Local Officials' Code of Ethics and provide guidance to local government officials regarding the "do's and don'ts" of making decisions that may have an impact on a local government official or a related party. The presenters will discuss the state statutes that may apply and explain the limitations of the Local Officials' Code of Ethics.

Ruder Ware Earns Recertification in Meritas, a Global Alliance of Business Law Firms

Posted on October 21, 2013, Authored by ,

Ruder Ware, a law firm with headquarters in Wausau and Eau Claire, recently was awarded recertification in Meritas, a global alliance of business law firms. Ruder Ware is required to successfully complete recertification every three years. Meritas is the only law firm alliance with an established and comprehensive means of monitoring and enhancing the quality of its member firms - a process that saves clients time in validating law firm credentials and experience. Meritas membership is selective and by invitation only. Firms are regularly assessed and recertified for the breadth of their practice expertise and client satisfaction. The organization's extensive due diligence process ensures that only firms meeting the tenets of Meritas' Quality Assurance Program are allowed to maintain membership. Firm performance and quality feedback are reflected in a Satisfaction Index score, which is made available online. The recertification process includes exacting self-assessment, peer review by other law firms and client feedback. It examines such factors as timeliness and quality of a firms client service, professional conduct and adherence to Meritas policies including acknowledgement of Meritas firm or client correspondence within 24 hours. "Businesses trust the Meritas alliance of law firms for top-tier quality, convenience, consistency and value," said Tanna Moore, CEO of Meritas. "Firm name has demonstrated its commitment to world-class client service, and as such, has successfully earned its recertification in Meritas." Founded in 1990, Meritas is a non-profit global alliance of independent, full-service business law firms located in more than 70 countries. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Meritas has 180 member firms that employ more than 7,000 lawyers worldwide. Meritas' goal is to connect business owners and in-house counsel with expert worldwide legal counsel that offer local insight, local rates and world-class client service. Meritas membership is by invitation only, and members must adhere to rigorous service standards to maintain membership. To find a Meritas law firm, or for more information, visit www.meritas.org or call +1 (612) 339-8680.

Annual Employment, Benefits & Labor Law Relations Conference - 2009

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

Stoney Creek Inn, Rothschild, WI Case Law Legislative Update Attorney Dean Dietrich Update on recent and pending state and federal court cases and legislation affecting employers. Identifying and Minimizing Liabilities of Employee Social Networking Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Sara Ackermann Social networking is here and likely here to stay. Learn how forums and listservs like Facebook®, Twitter®, and LinkedIn® can be a liability risk for businesses. Our attorneys will examine the risks and provide guidance on how to understand and utilize this new phenomenon while protecting the business' interest and avoiding liability. "How can we help you?" Reasonable accommodation under the WEFA and ADA Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney How must an employee request a reasonable accommodation? Do we have to provide the accommodation the employee wants? Do we have to hold an employee's job open as a reasonable accommodation? How do we get the information we need from the employee's doctor? What is the "interactive process" and why is it so important? Attorney Toner will answer these questions and provide you with practical tips for handling requests for reasonable accommodation so you can minimize liability in disability discrimination cases. Alphabet Soup: FMLA/ADA/WC Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney The federal and state FMLA, disability, and workers' compensation laws continue to create compliance problems for employers. This presentation will touch on recent developments under these laws. Bring your thinking caps because case situations involving application of the laws will be presented for review and analysis by the audience. Attendees will be encouraged to participate and analyze the case situations and provide insight. Employee Benefits Update Attorney Mary Ellen Schill The struggling economy and new administration once again makes employee benefits a hot topic. As HR professionals you're constantly looking for ways to save your company money while still rewarding good employees. Staying informed of what's out there is an overwhelming task. Attorney Schill will discuss health care reform legislation as well as new laws affecting employee benefit plans next year.

Annual Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Law Conference - 2010

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

Stoney Creek Inn, Rothschild, WI Health Care Reform - Coverage of Adult Children, Small Employer Tax Credits, and Early Retiree Reinsurance Program Attorney Mary Ellen Schill The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Health Care Reform) has a significant impact on all employers, both private and public sectors. This session will provide you with a working knowledge of Health Care Reform and its impact on private sector employers. Non-Compete Issues Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney Learn the ins and outs of non-compete agreements. Learn how a "good" non-compete agreement can help your business, how to protect yourself from a "bad" non-compete agreement, and how to avoid litigation. Social Networking Attorney Dean Dietrich Social networking is here and likely here to stay. Learn how forums and listservs like Facebook®, Twitter®, and LinkedIn® can be a liability risk for businesses. Our attorneys will examine the risks and provide guidance on how to understand and utilize this new phenomenon while protecting the business' interest and avoiding liability. How to Effectively Discipline Employees to Protect Yourself from Litigation Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney How should employers document employee disciplinary issues? What policies need to be in place before disciplinary decisions can be made? When shouldn't you place an employee on a performance improvement plan? These questions and more will be answered during this breakout session. The Misclassification Nightmare Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney The FLSA white collar overtime pay exemptions are not new but many employers are still struggling to understand them. Indeed, misclassification litigation is on the rise and even companies that believed that they were in compliance are finding themselves in court. As if that is not enough, the DOL has declared that it will further increase its enforcement efforts. Also, Wisconsin's wage and hour agency was recently vested with broad authority to investigate employee misclassifications. In light of all of this, employers must be doubly careful when declaring any employee an exempt employee. This presentation will address these issues and: how you can avoid the most common classification mistakes; the white collar exemption criteria; best practices for identifying employees correctly; the salary docking rules; and the penalties for violations.

Annual Human Resources & Labor Law Conference - 2010

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

Stoney Creek Inn, Rothschild, WI Seminar Sponsors: Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management and Ruder Ware Positive Leadership Modeling Chip Lutz - Covenant Leadership Position your leaders for success with this interactive program that gives them the tools to move past organizational barriers and connect with team members in a real, powerful way. Journey with Chip as he humorously relays how to communicate with team members, empower them to make a difference, and have fun while they move towards mission accomplishment! Legal Issues Relating to Social Networking Attorney Sara Ackermann Social networking is here, and likely here to stay. Learn how forums and listservs like Facebook(®, Twitter®, and LinkedIn® can be a liability risk for businesses. Our attorneys will examine the risks and provide guidance on how to understand and utilize this new phenomenon while protecting the business' interest and avoiding liability. Staffing Waste: Identify It, Measure It, Reduce It Joseph P. Murphy, Shaker Consulting Group As your organization looks to achieve strategic success and sustain a competitive advantage, it is imperative that HR Professionals bring a new level of analytical literacy to the job. The hard truth is that you hired your best, and you hired your worst. And both outcomes came from the same hiring process! That's why understanding how those decisions were made and how those candidates were evaluated is a critical component to reducing staffing waste. Conventional metrics are insufficient at best for communicating the strategic value and contribution of recruiting departments and the positions they fill. Joe will identify and explore the specific metrics that you can use to document staffing waste. Once equipped with specific action steps to collect and explore this data you will be compelled to seek additional methods to improve your own staffing process. Laugh for the Health of It Robin Getman Are you serious about having fun? Need to lighten up? This session is for you. This session is full of high energy, fast paced fun, jamb packed with useful tips and techniques to help you develop your laugh response and handle challenging situations with a smile. Laugh and learn as Robin Getman , your facilitator of fun, helps you identify ways to relax, renew and restore (and look forward to coming to work each day!) This session will tickle your funny bone, sharpen your customer service and do wonders for your self-esteem.

Annual CWSHRM Human Resources & Labor Law Conference - 2009

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

Stoney Creek Inn, Rothschild, WI Seminar Sponsors: Central Wisconsin Society of Human Resource Managers, and Ruder Ware. Mock Trail - Disability Ruder Ware's Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Practice Group Have you ever wondered what happens at a disability trial? With this presentation you will get a look at how the law process unfolds. Wisconsin Administrative Law Judge Jakobowski will judge the mock discrimination hearing, issue a decision, discuss procedures, and answer questions regarding substantive and procedural issues related to discrimination hearings. This dramatic examination will be both educational and entertaining! Legal Issues Relating to Organizational Downsizing Attorney Sara Ackermann Faced with the current economic crisis, employers are dealing with multiple workplace issues including workforce reductions or even plant closings. This program will explore the legal challenges involved when employers must reduce their workforce, such as: Should we offer severance to laid off employees? How do we draft enforceable release of claims documents? How do we comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), as well as, Wisconsin plant closing law?

Annual CWSHRM Human Resources & Labor Law Conference - 2011

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

Stoney Creek Inn, Rothschild, WI Sponsors: Ruder Ware and Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management Once Upon a Time - Using Story Telling to Build Core Values, Communicate Ethics & Inspire Passion and Teamwork! Margaret Morford - The HR Edge, Inc. Bullying in the Workplace: Steps to Prevent and Eliminate! Julie Kowalski - Spizzerinctum Group LLC; Hiring and Firing: A Top Ten List of Do's and Don'ts! Attorney Sara Ackermann Employers face a myriad of issues with the pre-employment and post-employment process. This presentation will address what to look out for when hiring and firing employees and will cover how to properly conduct a background check, when to worry about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Wisconsin's arrest and conviction discrimination laws, drug and alcohol testing, and the best way to interview applicants and methods that employers can utilize within the law to fire problem employees. FMLA: What You Need to Know So You Don't Get Hurt Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney The revised FMLA rules have been in place for some time. The courts are now addressing and implementing new provisions. This presentation will provide a review of significant cases, problematic issues that keep arising, and tips for addressing those difficult issues. What Eagles Dare - The Critical Difference Between Managing and Leading Keynote Speaker Margaret Morford - The HR Edge;

Local Government Seminar - Spring 2009

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

The Dudley Tower, Wausau, WI Local Officials Code of Ethics Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney The Government Accountability Board is operating in full swing. This presentation will give an update on the Local Officials Code of Ethics and any new interpretations from that agency. Collective Bargaining in a Time of Limited Resources: Strategies and Opportunities Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney In todays tough economic climate, local public officials face tough challenges with collective bargaining. This presentation will discuss the bargaining process and explore options for wage and fringe benefit reductions and health insurance changes. The presentation will also give an update regarding the state budget as well as its impact on public sector collective bargaining. New and Anticipated Legislation Impacting the Public Sector: How Will the Business of Local Government Change Under the New Political Environment? Attorney Dean Dietrich Change is on the horizon for employment law with pending legislation affecting the treatment of fringe benefits and the potential for litigation against public employers. This presentation will provide an update on whats pending, whats been adopted, and how it may affect the conduct of public business.

Local Government Seminar - Fall 2009

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

The Dudley Tower, Wausau, WI Public Documents Law Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney Local news media have aggressively used this law to seek records from local governments. Our attorneys regularly work with officials on compliance tactics under the Wisconsin Public Records Law, including the obligations of each local official under the law. This presentation will include an update on recent cases under this law. Open Meetings Law Attorney Dean Dietrich Compliance with the Open Meetings Law is essential for all local government bodies. This presentation covers the basics of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law and provides guidance to elected officials on compliance with the law. This presentation will also discuss the requirements and valid reasons for meeting in closed session.

Social Media Conference

Posted on October 22, 2013, Authored by ,

The Florian Gardens, Eau Claire, WI Seminar Sponsors: Ruder Ware and Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Identifying and Minimizing Liabilities of Employee Social Networking Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Sara Ackermann Social networking is here, and likely here to stay. Learn how forums and listservs like Facebook®, Twitter®, and LinkedIn® can be a liability risk for businesses. Attorneys Dean Dietrich and Sara Ackermann will examine the risks and provide guidance on how to understand and utilize this new phenomenon while protecting the business' interest and avoiding liability. The presentation also will discuss potential disciplinary actions related to employee use of social media.

Annual Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Law Conference - 2012

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

Westwood Conference Center, Wausau, WI Pay, Play, Or Delay: Status of Health Care Reform Legislation Attorney Mary Ellen Schill Regardless of the results of the November elections, the United States Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) is still the law of the land. And employers have plenty to do during the remainder of 2012 to prepare themselves for 2013 and 2014. This presentation will help employers determine what needs to be done with ACA requirements effective yet in 2012, 2013, and also assist with 2014 planning. EEOC's New Initiatives: Where is Your Next Risk? Attorney Sara Ackermann The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced its goals for eradicating workplace discrimination. Gender, disability, and pregnancy are the new battleground and the EEOC is ready - are you? By understanding this initiative, you can manage your workforce yet minimize the risk of litigation. Atty Ackermann will address reasonable accommodation, policies for pregnant employees, and gender "hot topics" such as lookism, dress codes, and same-sex harassment. Independent Contractor Status: Who is Your Employee and Who is Not? Attorney Kevin Terry In a difficult economy, government agencies dealing with deficits are going to increasingly focus on misclassification audits as a potential revenue source. This presentation will highlight the determinative factors looked at by administrative bodies when deciding if a party is an employee or an independent contractor. Privacy and Social Media: What Can You Read on Facebook? Ruder Ware Alumni Attorney This hour-long session will begin with a brief exploration of the risks created by employee use of social media and how such risks create a strong incentive to monitor employee use of social media (e.g. disparagement of third parties, false advertising). To that end, this session will primarily emphasize the legal risks associated with employer monitoring of employee use of social media, including state and federal statutory and "common law" claims related to invasion of privacy, unauthorized access of social media content, interference with rights created by the National Labor Relations Act and legislation, and National Labor Relations Board scrutiny of social-media related terminations. Conducting Background Checks: Will Too Much Information Hurt You? Attorney Dean Dietrich Employers rely upon a number of resources when conducting a background check on an applicant for employment with the company. Internet searches of court records and checking of credit information have become popular resources used to determine the suitability of a candidate for employment. This presentation will discuss the potential risks during the background checking process and offer tips on how to avoid claims of discrimination under the Wisconsin arrest/conviction record law and other related statutes.

Community Information - Eau Claire, WI

Posted on October 17, 2013, Authored by ,

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Eau Claire Regional Arts Center Childrens Museum of Eau Claire Chippewa Valley Museum Eau Claire Childrens Theatre Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company Eau Claire Downtown Farmers Market Chippewa Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau Heyde Center for the Arts QUALITY OF LIFE Mayo Clinic Health System Sacred Heart Hospital Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Marshfield Clinic  Eau Claire Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. Eau Claire Livability SPORTS AND RECREATION Rock Falls Raceway Eau Claire Crush Eau Claire Express Baseball Lake Wissota State Park Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area Big Falls County Park Eau Claire Parks & Recreation Department Carson Park Fairfax Park 99116068241 Eau Claire County offers plenty of opportunity for the outdoor enthusiast. EDUCATION University of Wisconsin  Eau Claire Eau Claire Area School District Chippewa Valley Technical College Globe University NEWS Eau Claire Leader Telegram Chippewa Valley Business Report WEAU 13 Eau Claire WQOW TV 18 Volume One Wisconsin Public Radio - Eau Claire AREA EVENTS Country Fest Country Jam Fall Harvest Festival Festival in the Pines Northern Wisconsin State Fair Rock Fest Wisconsin Renaissance Faire Community Information Eau Claire, WI The largest cross-country ski trail complex in west central Wisconsin is located in the heart of Eau Claire County. In addition, there are 181 miles of snowmobile trails and county land set aside for snowshoers. For other times year, the rivers and lakes welcome water and fishing enthusiasts. To compare the cost of living of Eau Claire, WI to other top Wisconsin/Minnesota cities, note the following figures from Sperlings Best Places. Cost of Living in Eau Claire, WI is: 15.5% less than Madison, WI 15.5% less than Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI area 23.7% less than Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area For a well-rounded view of Eau Claire, WI, follow this link City of Eau Claire.

Attorney Regina Butler Joins Ruder Ware

Posted on October 18, 2013, Authored by ,

Ruder Ware is pleased to announce the addition of Regina Butler to our Eau Claire attorney team. An Eau Claire native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Regina has represented the country's largest financial institutions and investors. This experience allows Regina to help individuals and business owners develop comprehensive plans to accomplish their personal and financial goals. At Ruder Ware, she works closely with individuals and families to design plans for the disposition of their assets, both during lifetime and at death, that reflect their unique circumstances, values and objectives. This may include drafting wills, trusts and other planning documents as well as formation of entities for estate planning and business purposes, asset protection, gifting and transfers of assets. Regina also assists her clients in planning for the transition of ownership and management of family or closely held businesses, including family farms, to the next generation.