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Employment

  • Employer’s Modification to Employee Handbook Break Policy Was Unfair Labor Practice

    Posted on February 11, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Often [at least within my respective circles of friends and co-workers],the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is criticized for its polemics of ipse dixit—“it is so because we say it is so.”    Recently, one business advanced this same criticism through legally challenging the NLRB’s decision in federal appeals court.   On February 9, 2016, the…   

  • Company Websites May Tangle Up Employers in ADA Liability

    Posted on February 8, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Does your company’s public business website create liability under the ADA?  The short, lawyerly, answer is—“it depends.”  Plaintiffs’ lawyers across the country are seizing upon Title III of the ADA [Places of Public Accommodation] as a basis for making threatening demands and filing lawsuits based on the claim that publicly-accessible business we…   

  • Will Employers Be Surprised in July?

    Posted on February 5, 2016, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    Recent statements from the Department of Labor Solicitor Patricia Smith have suggested that the new regulations being considered by the Department of Labor on the white collar exemptions from overtime will be published in July and become effective in September.  This is an earlier date than was originally hinted at by Solicitor Smith in prior state…   

  • NLRB Mails it In: Captive-Audience Speeches in Mail-Ballot Elections Now More Restrictive

    Posted on February 4, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    For most companies that have experienced a union organizing campaign, the concept of “captive audience” speeches on the eve of a manual, secret-ballot election is very familiar.  In this context, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has long held that employers are generally prohibited from conducting massed captive-audience speeches within …   

  • Exclusive Remedy of Worker’s Compensation Bars State Law Claims for Emotional Distress

    Posted on February 1, 2016, Authored by Russell W. Wilson, Filed under Employment

    The federal District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin dismissed two state law emotional distress claims in a lawsuit based on the exclusive remedy provision of the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act (WCA).  The employee filed suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) alleging that the failure of her employer to provide reques…   

  • New Proposed EEOC Guidelines on Retaliation

    Posted on January 29, 2016, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Employment

    On January 21, 2016, the EEOC issued its Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues which is to be used as a reference for staff investigators on charges alleging retaliation and other related issues.  The stated purpose of the guidance is to replace the EEOC’s 1998 Compliance Manual on Retaliation.  While much of the 73-page d…   

  • Caution, Caution – Are You a Joint Employer?

    Posted on January 28, 2016, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    Recent guidance from the Department of Labor has created a stir regarding two or more businesses that could be considered joint employers and thereby held jointly and severally responsible for complying with minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.  Under guidance issued by Wage and Hour Division Administ…   

  • Are Your Supervisors Really Supervisors?

    Posted on January 27, 2016, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent decision from the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has created some question regarding the definition of supervisor under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  In a recent, unpublished decision, the Fourth Circuit upheld the finding by the National Labor Relations Board (Board) that certain supervisors of the company did not act…   

  • ADA Protections in the Application Process

    Posted on January 11, 2016, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a reminder that employers have a duty to accommodate an applicant for employment if the applicant identifies the need for accommodations during the application/interview process.  The EEOC recently sued McDonalds Corporation for its alleged refusal to interview a deaf job appl…   

  • EEOC Fails to Claim That a Company’s Wellness Program Violates the ADA

    Posted on January 7, 2016, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has dismissed a claim by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) that a company’s wellness program violates the American’s with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The company, which has a manufacturing facility in Baraboo, Wisconsin, offered to its employees the …   

  • Anhydrous Ammonia Release Kills Worker – U.S. DOJ Sues Company Under the Clean Air Act

    Posted on December 30, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson, Filed under Employment

    Companies that use anhydrous ammonia as a refrigerant may be regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Risk Management Plan program under the Clean Air Act and by OSHA’s Process Safety Management program under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.  Section 112(r)(1) of the Clean Air Act provides that owners and operators of …   

  • IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates for 2016

    Posted on December 21, 2015, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill, Filed under Employment

    Falling gasoline prices have finally gotten the attention of the IRS!  Late last week the IRS issued the standard mileage rates for determining the deductible cost for operating automobiles for various purposes (business, medical, charitable) beginning January 1, 2016. Details can be found here.  Of most interest to employers, the mileage rate for …   

  • Boys of Summer Bring Wage and Hour Lawsuit: Marks Beginning of Ideological Spring

    Posted on December 10, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Much ink has been spilled by those writing about the attention-grabbing, nationwide, consolidated wage and hour lawsuit brought by current and former minor-league professional baseball players.   The case is Senne v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Case No. 3:14-00608-JCS, venued within the federal U.S. District Court for the Northern Distr…   

  • Private-Sector Unions Show No Meaningful Gain Despite Implementation of Quickie Election Rules

    Posted on December 9, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    The “quickie election” rules promulgated by the National Labor Relations Board have been in effect since April 14, 2015.  Thus far, predictions have come true as the time it takes to file a union petition to the time of the election has been dramatically shortened.  On the other hand, the number of petitions filed for union representation during th…   

  • Chicken Little Syndrome No More - NLRB Regional Director’s Recent Joint Employment Decision Proves the Sky Is Not Falling [Yet, Anyway]

    Posted on December 7, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    In the aftermath of the National Labor Relations Board’s recent, controversial Browning-Ferris Industries “joint employment” decision [362 NLRB No. 186], many within the management-side legal community [myself included] issued portentous predictions about the future –including Trojan Horse organizing tactics and the adverse impact on pervasive cont…