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Employment

  • 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…   

  • Worker’s Compensation Light Duty Programs for Occupationally Injured Employees and the ADA

    Posted on November 24, 2015, Authored by Russell W. Wilson, Filed under Employment

    Employers often establish a light-duty program that is reserved for employees who have work-related injuries or conditions during their healing periods.  The hallmarks of these programs is that temporary light-duty work is reserved for those employees receiving temporary benefits under worker’s compensation.  The rationale for this program is to he…   

  • Employers Get Break For Now

    Posted on November 19, 2015, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    In a surprise announcement, the Solicitor of Labor, Patricia Smith, has indicated the final rule on overtime eligibility being considered by the Department of Labor will likely not be declared final and implemented until late 2016.  During a panel discussion at the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Conference, Solicitor Smith indi…   

  • Court of Appeals Supports Handbook Rule Urging, But Not Requiring, Employees to Take Their Complaints Directly to Their Supervisor

    Posted on November 18, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    A recent decision by the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed in part the National Labor Relations Board’s order against a private-sector employer regarding its employee handbook employee-complaint provision finding that the handbook rule was lawful and did not implicate employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act or o…   

  • Legal Updates on Bills Affecting Employers, Schools, and Local Governments

    Posted on November 17, 2015, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Employment

    As a service to our clients, contributors to the Blue Ink will be drafting legal updates regarding the recent bills signed by Governor Walker. Many of the bills directly affect both public sector and private sector employers. The first update in this series relates to a school district or local government unit’s duty to post a notice. A link to thi…   

  • Court of Appeals Gives Protection to Employee “Like” of Negative Comments

    Posted on November 10, 2015, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the decision by the National Labor Relations Board that action taken by two employees on a Facebook page should be considered protected speech and therefore the employees should not have been terminated from employment.  In this decision involving the Triple Play Sports Bar and Gr…   

  • Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Regarding Tattoos

    Posted on November 6, 2015, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent decision by a federal judge in Chicago has upheld the right of the City of Chicago to require police officers to cover visible tattoos while on duty.  The Chicago Police Department implemented a Department policy that banned the display of tattoos while on duty.  The City said this policy was necessary to insure professionalism within the …   

  • When it Comes to Criminal Background Checks, Honesty is the Best Policy (For Employers Too!)

    Posted on October 28, 2015, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Employment

    Last week I was asked to present, along with a panel of attorneys, to a group of law students. For a group of students facing a tough job market, the most common theme of the discussion related to the hiring process and how these students could maximize their likelihood of landing a job. The panel’s message was simple – honesty is the best policy. …   

  • 2016 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2016 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

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

    Well, if you were hoping for a cost of living adjustment in the employee benefits part of your life, you aren’t going to get it from the 2016 qualified plan limits just issued by the IRS.  Here are the new limits.  Same as the old limits as you can see.  According to the IRS, “the pension plan limitations will not change for 2016 because the increa…   

  • Strength Exam May Cause Discrimination Complaint

    Posted on October 20, 2015, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent news article reported that a trucking company has settled an age and sex discrimination charge filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over a strength exam that it used when hiring drivers for its business.  The EEOC claimed that the strength test mandated by the company for truck driver applicants supported a claim for age an…   

  • Grievance Award: Missed Staff Meeting Results in Suspension

    Posted on October 19, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    In a grievance arbitration case, an employee of sixteen years, with no prior record of discipline,  missed a mandatory one-hour staff meeting at work.  Following an investigation, the private company suspended the employee for three days without pay.  The union grieved and a hearing was conducted before a staff arbitrator with the WERC.  The arbitr…   

  • Beware of Past Practice Clauses in Collective Bargaining Agreements

    Posted on October 15, 2015, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Last month, a staff arbitrator with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) issued a grievance decision interpreting certain language in a collective bargaining agreement regarding past practices.  The WERC is a Wisconsin state agency responsible for the oversight and enforcement of the state’s public and private sector labor laws, inc…