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Employment

  • Is it Only a Matter of Time Before LGBT Individuals Have Federal Employment Protection??

    Posted on November 12, 2013, Authored by Sara J. Ackermann, Filed under Employment

    Remember Jack Tripper? Pretending to be gay to stay in the coveted apartment with Chrissy and Janet? Oh, the ruse Jack played for years with multiple landlords who never quite caught on to Jack's true identity. In the employment setting, the opposite is true. Employees are more likely to hide their gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender identity and pre…   

  • Halloween Trick, or Treat? IRS Issues 2014 Limits for Qualified Plans

    Posted on November 1, 2013, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill, Filed under Employment

    On October 31 the IRS announced the various contribution and benefit limits applicable to qualified retirement plans, for 2014. Here's a link to our recent update which includes a handy chart. We've become accustomed to getting these annual announcements in mid-October, but as with a lot of other IRS guidance, the government shutdown did have an ef…   

  • "I always feel like somebody's watching me."

    Posted on October 28, 2013, Authored by Sara J. Ackermann, Filed under Employment

    Recently a client's Human Resources Manager complained to me that there was "nothing" the company could do to prevent an employee from "faking a migraine" when she felt like taking off in the middle of the day. This particular employee was certified for intermittent leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, but the same question could arise had the…   

  • FMLA Leave May Be Involuntary - But Risky Proposition

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

    A few days ago a prospective client flippantly asked me if it could force one of its employees to take FMLA leave. The prospective client was surprised to learn that the answer may be yes [under the right circumstances, of course assuming the employee is eligible for FMLA leave and the reason for the absence meets the definition of "serious health …   

  • 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 …   

  • Government Paralysis - Potential Liability Still Exists

    Posted on October 1, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    The news today talks about "government paralysis" and the likelihood that government will not re-focus for several weeks until everything is decided regarding the continuing resolution debate and the debt limit debate. A caution to employers however, that the government paralysis does not mean that you are protected from potential liability for vio…   

  • Obesity as a Protected Category?

    Posted on September 18, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    I have written blogs in the past about obesity not being a protected category under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Over the weekend, the American Medical Association announced that obesity should now be considered a disease. It is anticipated that insurance companies will now recognize obesity as a covere…   

  • Federal Court Upholds NLRB Approval of Mini-Bargaining Unit

    Posted on September 3, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (the Federal Court covering the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) held that the NLRB decision allowing for a "mini-union" was a valid and proper exercise of Board authority. In this case, the NLRB approved a bargaining unit that was comprised of a small group of employees in one …   

  • What's in Store for the Future - National Labor Relations Board

    Posted on August 23, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    On August 22, I spoke to the Employment Law Institute sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin on the topic of, "National Labor Relations Board:  What Will the Future Bring?" This topic focused on the recent congressional approval of new members to the NLRB which will eliminate legal challenges going forward to decisions made by the NLRB on the grou…   

  • Federal Court Decision Supports Strict Call-In Procedures

    Posted on August 15, 2013, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Employment

    Many employers maintain no-fault attendance policies requiring advanced notice of absences and a voluntary quit provision when an employee fails to report to work for two days without providing notice. These policies assist companies in meeting client deadlines and properly monitoring employee performance. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recentl…   

  • Fox Searchlight Decision Brings Risks of Using Unpaid Interns Out of the Dark

    Posted on August 13, 2013, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Recently, a federal court in New York concluded that a group of workers (production workers who worked on production of the film Black Swan) classified as "unpaid interns" by a motion picture distribution company should have been classified as employees for purposes of federal wage and overtime laws. The case is Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, I…   

  • Employee Requests for Accommodations for Non-Traditional Religious Observances - Practice What You PREACH

    Posted on August 9, 2013, Authored by Ruder Ware Attorneys, Filed under Employment

    Most employers are at least remotely familiar with the requirement under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide reasonable accommodations in response to employee requests to participate in religious observances or practices, if doing so does not cause demonstrable (not hypothetical or speculative) undue hardship to the employer's busi…   

  • Management Comments can Create a Smoking Gun for Discrimination Claims

    Posted on August 7, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit gives a prime example of how comments by an employer-representative can support a claim of discrimination. A sales manager in his late fifties showed a potential basis for a claim of age discrimination because of the comments made by a younger supervisor. The record of comments ca…   

  • Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Announces Insurers Participating in Marketplace

    Posted on August 7, 2013, Authored by Mary Ellen Schill, Filed under Employment

    On August 6 the Wisconsin Office of Commissioner of Insurance released the names of the insurers who have applied to participate in Wisconsin's federally facilitated Exchange (the Wisconsin Marketplace). Thirteen insurers have applied to participate in the individual Marketplace (marketing qualified health plans to individuals only), while nine ins…   

  • Partially Deaf Worker May Require Accommodation

    Posted on August 2, 2013, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Employment

    I wrote several blogs about potential areas of new disability claims relating to the use of caffeine and a new mental health disorder that may affect non-productive employees. A recent federal court case held that a partially deaf retail store pharmacy technician was entitled to file a disability claim when her employer placed the employee on indef…