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Employment

  • Is Coffee My Friend or My Foe?

    Posted on June 11, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    As a labor negotiator, I rely upon coffee to help me through the long days and long evenings that often occur when negotiating a new labor agreement. I have come to hold coffee in highest esteem as my best friend. I recently read that coffee may deter the chemicals that are responsible for memory loss although the tests have only been taken on the …   

  • Disabled Employee Must be Considered for Vacant Position

    Posted on June 5, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    Recent action by the United States Supreme Court has clarified the duty of accommodation that an employer must make under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The action of the U.S. Supreme Court was to deny review of a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving United Airlines. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision held that a "reasonable…   

  • What's the Frequency Kenneth: How Often May Employers Solicit Updates from Employees on FMLA Leave?

    Posted on June 3, 2013, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Recently, while paging through a set of "boilerplate," employer FMLA notification forms, I noticed a field/blank for employers to insert how frequently an employee seeking FMLA leave is to provide updates concerning return-to-work status. Believe it or not, my very next thought was about Dan Rathers' 1986 mugging and the R.E.M. song Rathers' muggin…   

  • Accommodation for Disabled Applicant?

    Posted on May 29, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    We are seeing more and more requests from an applicant to have some type of accommodation for the individual to be considered for a vacant position. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued an informal letter to a public employer outlining the duties of an employer to make an accommodation for an applicant that suffers from a dis…   

  • Employee Personal Devices and Work-Related Risks: Trying to COPE

    Posted on May 23, 2013, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    BYOD (short for Bring Your Own Device) policies are all the rage these days. This is understandable given the ostensible BYOD benefits bounced around as conventional wisdom including, but not limited to: (1) organizational cost savings [BYOD proponents claim it's cheaper for companies if employees purchase their own smart phones]; (2) fostering a…   

  • Aggressive Investigation Strategies - EEOC

    Posted on May 21, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws relating to the employment relationship, particularly in the area of discrimination. The EEOC recently issued a new Strategic Enforcement Plan which gives employers a clear indication of what will be the focus of investigations by the EEOC. The EEOC said they have limited funds so t…   

  • Supreme Court to Decide Validity of NLRB Appointments

    Posted on May 16, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    President Obama has asked the United States Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision and hold that the President's appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was constitutional and proper. These appointments took place in January, 2012 at a time when the Congress was in a recess between sessions of Congress bu…   

  • Employers are NOT Required to Notify of Union Rights

    Posted on May 14, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A federal district court decision has struck down an administrative rule proposed by the National Labor Relations Board that would require all private sector employers to notify their employees of the right to join a union. The recent decision held that this rule was not lawful and constituted an unreasonable exercise of administrative rule-making …   

  • Employers Must Saddle Up: Organized Labor Has a New Trojan Horse

    Posted on April 30, 2013, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    This past month, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) caught the employer community off guard with an unexpected, union-friendly pronouncement, one that provides labor unions free reign to infiltrate non-union workplaces. On April 5, 2013, OSHA publicly announced [through a letter of interpretation/Standard Interpretati…   

  • Subrogation Under ERISA

    Posted on April 25, 2013, Authored by Russell W. Wilson, Filed under Employment

    Mary Ellen Schill and I were talking about the e-alert that we posted April 19 on the right of reimbursement for self-insured group health plans under ERISA in light of the US Airways v. McCutcheon case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on April 16. A couple of points caught our attention. The scope of reimbursement can be as broad as possible so l…   

  • Being At Work Is An Essential Job Function

    Posted on April 19, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    One of my colleagues recently wrote about an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that determined whether an employee is disabled. That determination was based on the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Rather than considering the actual duties being performed by the employee, the Court looked to the job description …   

  • No Backup Plan Needed, Exchanges Will be Ready by October 1 Says HHS Secretary

    Posted on April 15, 2013, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill, Filed under Employment

    Last week I had the pleasure of talking Affordable Choice Act with human resource and benefits professionals in Madison and Wausau. From some of the questions I was fielding it was clear that there were some out there who doubted whether the federally facilitated exchanges will be operational by October 1, as required by the ACA. Wisconsin is one o…   

  • There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch - Just Ask the Department of Labor

    Posted on April 12, 2013, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    A few days ago I was reading the Wall Street Journal and came across an interesting article about whether daily, fringe-benefit meals are taxable - a watered-down version of the article may be accessed here. Apparently (and probably not too surprising to most), the IRS is considering whether these free lunches are fringe benefits on which employees…   

  • Accurate Job Descriptions Key in ADA Case

    Posted on April 7, 2013, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Employment

    The Eighth Circuit recently decided a case that stands for the notion that an employer's description of the essential functions of an employee's job, and not the employee's specific personal experience in the job, is critical in determining whether or not an employee is qualified for protection under the ADA. In Knutson v. Schwan's Home Service, I…   

  • Deaf Candidates are Entitled to Interpreter During Interview?

    Posted on March 26, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has filed a federal lawsuit against Toys "R"' Us alleging that the Company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when it did not provide a sign language interpreter to a deaf applicant at a job interview. The EEOC alleges in the federal lawsuit that a Company of this size would not have an undue ha…