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Employment

  • Are Employment Application Questions About Convictions and Arrests Taboo?

    Posted on June 16, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Recently, several businesses have asked me to carefully scrutinize their employment application forms for compliance with state and federal law. Interestingly, one question that consistently arises is whether employers in Wisconsin are permitted to ask questions about convictions and arrests within employment application forms. I have found that th…   

  • Stop Talking About Your Compensation - Not

    Posted on June 10, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 that a discussion of salary that an employee receives is not acceptable in the workplace. Recen…   

  • Is Six Months Enough?

    Posted on June 6, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 State University satisfied the reasonable accommodation requirements under the Rehabilitation Act …   

  • Watch Out - Protections Against Swearing at Boss

    Posted on June 4, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 explicitly threaten violence and did not act in a violent fashion. The employee did, in a raised voice,…   

  • Mixed Motive For Discrimination Decision - Be Careful

    Posted on June 3, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 County terminated a manager for violation of County policies on use of technology. During the discus…   

  • Off-Duty Conduct - Taking Adverse Employment Action

    Posted on May 29, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 overall reputation in the community. Unfortunately, there are various laws that protect an employee f…   

  • Texting While Driving - Illegal But Paid

    Posted on May 21, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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, but regardless of what the prohibitions may be, employers may still be "on the hook" for paying …   

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

    Posted on May 21, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 property if they are not there to perform work. We now have to think twice, because the National …   

  • Employers Should Take Required FMLA Notices Seriously - But All Hope is Not Lost if Mistakes are Made

    Posted on May 13, 2014, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    When an employee requests a leave of absence that may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason, his or her employer is required to provide notice to the employee of eligibility for leave under the FMLA (as most employers are aware, the Department of Labor has created a handy-dandy form to accomplish this purpose - WH-381). The purpose of the eligibility …   

  • Denying Unemployment Benefits is Starting to Work

    Posted on May 9, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 terminated from employment due to inappropriate conduct. For many years, an employer was not able to…   

  • Are Employer-Mandated Anger-Management Counseling Sessions Considered Compensable Time?

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

    Are employer-mandated anger-management counseling sessions considered compensable "hours worked" for purposes of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act? What if the employee attends anger-management counseling outside of his or her normal working hours? These questions came up recently during a roundtable meeting of an HR group of which I'm fortunate…   

  • Door Open to Working at Home

    Posted on May 2, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 decision, the Court of Appeals held that an employer cannot automatically require that actual presence …   

  • Perfectly Clear Successor - Be Careful

    Posted on April 30, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 operating the business as it has been previously operated and simply becoming the new owner of t…   

  • No More Record Keeping for Professionals

    Posted on April 25, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 other exempt employees such as administrative or executive employees that were considered exemp…   

  • Age Discrimination Cases Can be Easy to Prove

    Posted on April 15, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, 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 reduction in the workforce can open the door for age discrimination claims if older employees are selec…