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Sara J. Ackermann

Professional Experience

Sara sees herself as a member of a company's HR team. Clients utilize her varied background by treating her as a consultant and advisor on employment law topics. Sara counsels HR professionals on the development of proactive policies, procedures, and protocols drafted to retain talent and create a positive work environment. Sara has previous experience working inside a corporation so she understands the myriad of employment issues that HR professionals and business owners face every day. Her focus is on providing proactive advice by identifying issues before they arise so that her clients can minimize their risk and avoid the expensive legal fees associated with litigation.

Sara is a sought after presenter, and presents nationwide on topics affecting HR professionals. Actively involved in the local Society of Human Resource Management chapter, serving as a board member, she is connected to the HR community and is therefore skilled at providing solutions to real-life situations. She counsels clients in the private sector from a broad range of industries. Her experience includes:

  • Counseling employers on every aspect of federal and state employment laws, including laws regarding drug and alcohol testing, background checks, employee privacy, wrongful discharge, antidiscrimination, anti-harassment, plant closing and mass lay-off, wage and hour, family medical leave, and reasonable accommodation.
  • Representing employers in employment litigation matters and in the administrative setting including Wisconsin and Minnesota state and federal agencies.
  • Guiding employers in conducting workplace investigations.
  • Representing employers in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Department of Labor (DOL) audits.
  • Reviewing employer wage and hour practices including, exempt/non-exempt position classifications, meal/rest break practices, off the clock and record keeping issues.
  • Drafting employee handbooks, separation agreements, disciplinary memoranda, affirmative action plans, employment contracts, non-compete agreements and independent contractor agreements.
  • Conducting employment law training, including but not limited to, sexual harassment training for employees and "employment law basics" training for management.

Sara frequently posts to The Blue Ink Employment blog.

Education

  • B.A., University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN (1995) 
  • J.D. (magna cum laude), William Mitchell College of Law - St. Paul, MN (2003)

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Marathon County Bar Association

Admitted to Practice

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court 
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Professional Activities

  • Central Wisconsin Society of Human Resource Management - Board of Directors
  • Society of Human Resource Management - Member

Civic Activities

  • Wausau Area Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. - Board Member (2012 - 2015), Fundraising Committee (2012 - 2015)
  • Wausau Child Care, Inc. - Past President, Board Member (2005 - 2011)
  • Wausau Child Care Foundation - Member (2012 - Present)

Articles

Legal Updates

 

Blue Ink Blog Articles

 

 

Presentations

  • Ageism in the Workplace, Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/2/17
  • What Triggers an Investigation?, Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/2/17
  • Everything You Need to Know About Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, Confidentiality and Trade Secret Agreements, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resource and Labor Law Conference - 4/6/17
  • Are Your Files in Order:  Best Practices Document Retention Strategies, 2017 Human Resource Conference, Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce - 4/4/17
  • What's New with ADA and FMLA?, Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/3/16
  • Proposed DOL Overtime Rule Update:  Is This Really Happening?, Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Conference - 11/3/16
  • How Do the New Overtime Rules Affect Your Business?, Ruder Ware Seminar - 5/31/16
  • Walking the Pre-Hire Tightrope:  Tips and Traps!, Ruder Ware Eau Claire Area Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Law Conference - 5/25/16
  • Accommodating the Injured Worker:  Tips and Traps, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/7/16
  • Panel Discussion, PPA and NTC sponsored A "How To" on Employee Management - 2/24/16
  • Walking the Pre-Hire Tightrope:  Tips and Traps!, Ruder Ware Annual Employment, Benefits, and Labor Relations Conference - 11/5/15
  • Good Bad Ugly—Recent Employment Decisions, Marshfield Area Human Resource Association - 3/18/15
  • Now I Have a Migraine!  How to Manage the Sick, Injured, and Disabled Workforce, EC area Employment, Benefits, and Labor Relations Law Conference - 3/4/15
  • Now I have a Migraine!  How to Manage the Sick, Injured, and Disabled Workforce, Ruder Annual Employment, Benefits, and Labor Relations Conference- 11/6/14
  • Legal Update, Marshfield Area Human Resource Association Meeting - 5/14/14
  • Sex, Lies, and Facebook: An Employee's Right to Privacy in the Workplace, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/10/14
  • What is Attorney-Client Privilege and Why Should I Care? - 11/7/13, and 3/6/14
  • Surviving the Perfect Storm - What to do When ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation Collide, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/11/13
  • EEOC's New Initiatives: Where is Your Next Risk? 11/8/12
  • Restrictive Covenants in Employment, WI State Bar Health, Labor, and Employment Law Institute - 8/23/12
  • Do's and Don'ts for Conducting Workplace Investigations, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/12/12
  • Human Resources 101: Fundamentals for Your Business, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce and CWSHRM - 3/1/12
  • Reasonable Accommodation: How Can We Help You?, Annual Ruder Ware Employment, Benefits & Labor Relations Law Conference - 11/4/11
  • Hiring and Recruiting for the Facebook Generation, Central Wisconsin Social Media Conference - 10/20/11
  • What to do With the Concealed Carry Law - Are You in or Are You Out?, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce - 9/28/11
  • Hiring and Firing: A Top 10 List of Do's and Don'ts!, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/14/11
  • Identifying and Minimizing Liabilities of Employee Social Networking - 9/29/10
  • Basic (Refresher) FMLA Track - 6/22/10
  • Legal Issues Relating to Social Networking, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/8/10
  • Identifying and Minimizing Liabilities of Employee Social Networking - 11/04/09
  • Legal Issues Relating to Organizational Downsizing, Ruder Ware Annual CWSHRM Human Resources and Labor Law Conference - 4/21/09
  • Noncompete Agreements: Are They Ever Enforceable in Wisconsin? - 4/17/09
  • Do You Know It When You See It? A Review of Sexual Harassment Law and Tips on How to Conduct Effective Sexual Harassment Investigations -11/6/08 and 6/8/06
  • How Can We Help You? Reasonable Accommodation Under the WFEA and ADA - 11/2/07 and 11/9/07
  • Discrimination Laws Impacting Local Government Employees - 8/29/07
  • Show Me the Money! A Wage and Hour Forum - 4/19/07
  • Stick or Carrot? Employee Discipline & Discharge Issues - 4/20/06
  • Show Me The Money - 2/24/06
  • Employment Investigation Techniques - Do's and Don'ts - 10/14/25
  • Traps for the Unwary WI Employer Under State and Federal Discrimination and FMLA Laws - 10/14/05
  • Conflicts of Interest/Code of Ethics for Local Public Officials - What Did I Do Now? - 9/27/05
  • Handling Grievances From Board Consideration to Hearing - 4/26/05
  • Legal and Policy Considerations in the Development or Updating of Employee Handbooks - 4/21/05