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Using “Like” on Facebook may be Protected Speech

Posted on September 5, 2014 by

A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board (August 25, 2014) held that an employee using the “Like” feature on a Facebook page to show support for comments by another employee about the conduct of the company payroll system constituted protected speech under the National Labor Relations Act. The Board held that the termination […]

English-Only Policies Under Scrutiny

Posted on September 3, 2014 by

Some companies have adopted an English-only policy which requires that employees use English as the only language allowed in the workplace. This type of policy is often adopted for safety reasons to ensure that everyone understands what is being said in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, the adoption of an English-only policy can create liability for […]

Aggressive Conduct Toward Subordinate Places Sheriff in Jeopardy of Civil Suit Under Wisconsin Law

Posted on September 2, 2014 by

Just how threatening and intimidating can a superior or co-employee act toward a subordinate or co-employee without incurring the risk of a civil lawsuit for damages under Wisconsin law? The federal district court in Madison faced that interesting question in a preliminary motion hearing. As a result, the lawsuit against the sheriff of Burnett County […]

Lazy Days of Summer are Gone – EEOC Files Lawsuits

Posted on August 28, 2014 by

It appears the lazy days of summer have gone away. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed two lawsuits showing its aggressive stance to “cleanup” its view of discrimination matters. One lawsuit involved discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act for being terminated when deciding not to participate in a wellness program. The other […]

Protecting Your Workplace May Be Getting Easier

Posted on August 27, 2014 by

On numerous occasions, we have received a phone call from a client that goes something like this: “An employee has reported to human resources that their (family member/friend/acquaintance) has been engaging in harassing behavior that the employee is concerned may continue into the workplace. What can we do to protect the employees (or students), our […]

Update: Watch Out for NLRB Activism

Posted on August 25, 2014 by

I recently attended an employment law seminar sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin. One of the presenters was the Officer in Charge of Sub region 30 of the National Labor Relations Board. In a very candid and open discussion, the Officer in Charge made it very clear that the activism of the National Labor […]

Attention Deficit Disorder – Disability?

Posted on August 20, 2014 by

I have always been concerned that attention deficit disorder would become a commonplace claim of a disability by employees, especially employees who are subject to disciplinary action. A recent decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gives employers some hope that attention deficit disorder (ADHD) will not automatically be considered a disability. In this […]

New Decision – Same Result – Same Worry

Posted on August 12, 2014 by

Another decision from the National Labor Relations Board has created the same worry for employers. An NLRB judge recently ruled that several portions of a company employee handbook restricted the rights of workers to organize and discuss their conditions of employment and found there was a violation of the Section 7 rights of the employees. […]

Broad Confidentiality Rule – Violation of Employee Rights?

Posted on August 11, 2014 by

A recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board has again highlighted the lengths to which the NLRB will go to seek out protection of employee rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. This Section allows employees to communicate regarding union organizing activities and exchange information amongst employees regarding possible union organizing […]

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds that Worker’s Compensation Carrier’s Settlement With Third Party Tortfeasor Binds the Employee to the Terms of the Settlement

Posted on August 1, 2014 by

Under Worker’s Compensation, an injured employee receives benefits on a “no-fault” basis and the employer receives immunity from civil suit for damages. When a third party’s negligence causes or contributes to the employee’s injury, however, the third party is fair game to be sued by the injured employee and/or the employer’s worker’s compensation carrier (or […]