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2017 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2017 Social Security Taxable Wage Base 2

Posted on October 21, 2015 by

2017 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2017 Social Security Taxable Wage Base The Internal Revenue Service has announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits. Some of the limits shown below remain unchanged from last year, but others have increased. Qualified Plan Limit  Cost-of-Living Adjustments 401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit […]

Strength Exam May Cause Discrimination Complaint

Posted on October 20, 2015 by

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 […]

Grievance Award: Missed Staff Meeting Results in Suspension

Posted on October 19, 2015 by

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 arbitrator […]

Beware of Past Practice Clauses in Collective Bargaining Agreements

Posted on October 15, 2015 by

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, including the conducting of hearings throughout […]

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Nationwide Stay of Proceedings in the Clean Water Rule

Posted on October 13, 2015 by

Various challenges to the Clean Water Rule, issued by the EPA and the Corps of Engineers on June 29, 2015, and effective August 28, 2015, have been consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  On October 9 the Sixth Circuit issued a stay of enforcement of the […]

Comparative MRIs Support IME Opinion

Posted on October 13, 2015 by

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals has affirmed a Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) decision that denied additional benefits for an initially conceded injury based on the independent medical examiner’s (IME) review of comparative MRIs.  David Dollar had pre-existing degenerative joint disease, as confirmed by a 2009 MRI.  On June 23, 2011, while at work […]

Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act

Posted on October 13, 2015 by

I. Introduction The terms “waters of the United States” and “navigable waters of the United States” are two separate definitions applied by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) in different contexts pursuant to different statutes.  Let’s suppose you want to construct a hydroelectric plant.  A fundamental concern would be whether the newly constructed […]

Caveat Emptor: Labor Board Judge Gives Would-Be Buyers of Union Companies Reason to Beware

Posted on October 5, 2015 by

Recently, one of the National Labor Relations Board’s administrative law judges (“ALJ”) issued a decision that reminds would-be purchasers of unionized companies to proceed with caution before taking the plunge.  The case is Riccelli Enterprises, Inc., available here: Riccelli_Decision.   In Riccelli Enterprises, Inc., the ALJ was called upon to determine whether: (1) the purchaser of […]

Electronic Signatures Expedite Union Election Petition

Posted on September 9, 2015 by

A recent pronouncement by General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has indicated that electronic signatures will be accepted on a union election petition filed with the NLRB.  This clarification allows the union election process to be expedited to be even quicker than originally thought under the new “quickie election” rules promulgated by the […]

WOTUS Legal Challenges Update

Posted on September 9, 2015 by

There are numerous pending lawsuits challenging the EPA and Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) Rule.  The Rule took effect in thirty-seven states on August 28, 2015, after proceedings in three of these lawsuits. The explanation lies in procedural intricacy.  Under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), original jurisdiction to challenge a rule […]