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

Posted on February 1, 2016 by

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 requested leave […]

New Proposed EEOC Guidelines on Retaliation

Posted on January 29, 2016 by

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 […]

Caution, Caution – Are You a Joint Employer?

Posted on January 28, 2016 by

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 Administrator, Dr. […]

Are Your Supervisors Really Supervisors?

Posted on January 27, 2016 by

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  In a recent, unpublished decision, the Fourth Circuit upheld the finding by the National Labor Relations Board (Board) that certain supervisors of the company did not actually qualify […]

National Issues That Will Affect Central Wisconsin Businesses in 2016

Posted on January 25, 2016 by

Staying up-to-date and compliant with new laws, rules, and regulations is an ever increasing cost of doing business. Despite the fact that at the end of 2015 Congress took important steps to provide businesses with long-term certainty by permanently extending the federal Research and Development Tax Credit and the Section 179 expensing deduction, much was […]

ADA Protections in the Application Process

Posted on January 11, 2016 by

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 applicant.  The applicant indicated […]

Bypassing Scylla and Charybdis: Pre-enforcement Judicial Review of Wetlands Determinations Under the Clean Water Act

Posted on January 11, 2016 by

Introduction In the Odyssey, Homer told of the inescapable sailing hazards that confronted Odysseus: the six-headed sea monster, Scylla, on one side of a strait and a whirlpool, Charybdis, on the other.  Odysseus chose to avoid losing all to the whirlpool and take his chances with the monster.  This was a good choice; Odysseus made […]

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

Posted on January 7, 2016 by

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 ability to participate […]

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

Posted on December 30, 2015 by

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 stationary […]

IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates for 2016

Posted on December 21, 2015 by

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 business mileage […]