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Archive of: Human Resources

Appellate Court Restricts Wisconsin's "Substantial Fault" Disqualification Standard for Unemployment Benefits

Posted by Attorney David McClurg in Human Resources, Unemployment Law, Unemployment Disqualification Standards / Comments

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently narrowed the scope of the "substantial fault" disqualification standard, added to Wisconsin's Unemployment Act in 2013, by broadly interpreting the exceptions to that standard.

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STATE BUDGET BILL SUBSTANTIALLY CHANGES WISCONSIN’S UNEMPLOYMENT LAWS

Posted by Attorney David McClurg in Human Resources, Business Management / Comments

The 2013-2015 biennial budget bill, recently enacted as 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, included many significant changes to Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance (“UI”) law. Although some of these changes took effect immediately after the effective date of the Act 20 (such as increasing work search requirements from 2 to 4 contacts per week) most will first apply to unemployment determinations issued or appealed on or after Jan. 5, 2014.  Several of the ...

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In its First Ruling on a Social Media Policy, the NLRB Rules a Portion of Costco’s Policy Unlawful

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Technology / Comments

On September 7th the NLRB, in Costco Wholesale Corporation and United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 371, Case 34–CA–012421, upheld the administrative judge’s ruling that some of Costco’s employee handbook policies violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) but disagreed with the judge that Costco's social media policy was lawful.Among the rules the NLRB, in agreement with the judge, found unlawful were the following:(a) “unauthorized posting, ...

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FMLA Update: 7th Circuit Rules in Favor of Employee, By Barbara Halpin

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Employer-Employee Relationship, Human Resources / Comments

On August 9th, the 7th Circuit in Pagel v. TIN, Inc. overturned the district court’s granting of summary judgment for an employer in an FMLA leave case which now enables the employee to take it to trial.  The Plaintiff, Pagel, claimed that his employer violated the FMLA by interfering with his right to take leave under the Act and then retaliated against him for taking the leave.Pagel, a salesman for ...

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7th Circuit Affirms Jury's Verdict that School District Violated the ADA by Failing to Accommodate Seasonal Affective Disorder, by Barbara Halpin

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

The 7th Circuit recently affirmed a jury's decision that a Wisconsin school district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for not accommodating a teacher's seasonal affective disorder.The teacher, Renae Ekstrand, sued the Somerset Wisconsin school district for failing to accommodate her disability.  Initially, the jury held in favor of Ekstrand and subsequently the district moved for judgment as a matter of law challenging the sufficiency of the evidence.  The district court denied the district’s ...

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Don’t Let Your Harassment Policy Gather Dust on a Shelf, by David McClurg

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

Some employers include a good anti-harassment policy in their Employee Handbook, and feel they’ve done all they need to do to protect themselves against sexual or racial harassment claims. In truth, a good policy is just the first step in a successful program to insulate an employer from harassment claims.In Mann v. Staples, Inc., a female employee received unwelcome comments about her appearance and physique, ...

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NLRB WANTS TO CHANGE BACKPAY AWARDS, by Roger L. Pettit

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

On July 21, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) rendered a decision in Latino Express, Inc. and related cases.  (13-CA-046528, 13-CA-046529 and 13-CA-046634.)  The Board found that Latino Express violated Section 8(a)(1) and 3 of the Act in several ways and as pertinent to this post, the Board found the respondent discriminatorily discharged 2 employees.The Administrative Law Judge that heard the case awarded backpay to the discharged employees.  The ...

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Critical Issues for Employers in the Wake of the Supreme Court Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act, by David A. McClurg

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Business Management / Comments

Now that the dust has settled on the Supreme Court’s decision largely upholding the constitutionality of the “Affordable Care Act,” or “Obamacare” as most Republican candidates are calling it, some of the important factors that employers should keep in mind for the remainder of 2012 and 2013 include:1.         Small businesses with 25 or less employees that pay average annual wages below $50,000 and pay at least 50% of the total ...

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Employers, Take a Good Look at your Social Media Policy

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Technology / Comments

As social media participation increases, particularly Facebook and Twitter, it’s becoming more important for employers to have a social media policy in place.  Equally important however, is ensuring that the policy isn’t overbroad and violates the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).  Last month the NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued his third report  detailing seven cases of illegal or overbroad employer social media policies that violated the Act.The ...

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Supreme Court: Pharmaceutical Reps Not Entitled to Overtime Pay under the FLSA

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources / Comments

In Christopher et. al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. the Supreme Court ruled Monday that pharmaceutical representatives aren’t entitled to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Click on the this link for the opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-204.pdf).  The FLSA overtime requirement does not apply to workers who are considered “outside salesmen” under 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1).  For the discussion of the definition of “outside salesmen”, see page 1 of ...

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