Employment & Labor

At almost every unemployment hearing there will be document in the hearing packet that pretends to be a claimant statement. This “statement” pretends to represent what the claimant told a Department investigator in a phone call, and at the hearing the administrative law judge will almost always ask the claimant, “Is this statement true and accurate?”

Note: Many people tell me about their phone interviews being recorded. Phone interviews are never recorded, because then the pretend claimant statements describe
Continue Reading Department investigators are NOT true and accurate

Lindner & Marsack, S.C., today announced team members acknowledged by Super Lawyers magazine. Honorees include Douglas Feldman, Gary Marsack, Daniel Pedriana, Andrew Quartaro and Oyvind Wistrom, along with Melissa Stone and Samantha Wood who were named by the organization as “Rising Stars.”
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers also announced their designations for 2023, which includes Feldman and Wistrom as well as Daniel Finerty and Jonathan Swain.
“Our primary goal is to help employers

In late 2022, it is time to see what has happened in Wisconsin with unemployment claim-filing.

Note: The charts presented here are from the Unemployment Insurance Data Explorer, which takes DOL unemployment data obtained from the states and provides a quick way to see what this data means.

Why claims are denied

First, some basic facts need to be introduced. Far too many people think that unemployment claims are approved or denied because of a dispute over a
Continue Reading Claim filing after the pandemic

The Department has announced three hours of public hearing on November 17th from 2 to 4 pm and from 5 to 6 pm for unemployment comments and feedback.

Prior registration for a specific session is required.

Comments can also be submitted by e-mail message to UILawChange@dwd.wisconsin.gov, an e-mail address that will only be active from November 9th to 18th.

Comments by regular mail can be mailed to:

Janell Knutson, Chair
Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council
P.O. Box 8942
Madison WI
Continue Reading Unemployment public hearing in 2022

Tuesday, November 8, 2022, is Election Day. Although early voting is underway, many people will want to vote in-person on Election Day. All Wisconsin employers, regardless of size, are required to provide employees who are eligible to vote up to three consecutive hours of unpaid leave to vote while the polls are open (from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.). Employees must request the time off prior to Election Day. Employers cannot deny voting leave on the basis that employees
Continue Reading Vote! And Remember That Your Employees are Entitled to Time Off to Vote!

As governments across the globe and at every level—from local to national—work to find productive means of addressing the increasing threats posed by climate change, a new government agency entered the fray last spring: the SEC. In March, the SEC proposed that companies begin providing climate-related information disclosures. The potential implementation of the rule, however, has now been delayed—the SEC had to reopen the comment period due to a technical glitch, and it now has to account for
Continue Reading The SEC May Require Companies to Disclose Climate-Related Risks and Information

As the composition of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) changes from administration to administration, so do labor law standards, policies, and enforcement priorities of the board. With jurisdiction over virtually every private sector employer – small, mid-size, large, non-profit, etc. – the board’s movements have profound consequences for employers, employees, and organized labor. And even for public sector employers – which are not covered by the NLRA – the NLRB’s pronouncements are highly influential. In short, when it
Continue Reading National Labor Relations Board Changes: A 2022 Retrospective

A prior post discussed how, in Becker, et al. v. Dane County, et al., Nos. 2021AP1343 & 2021AP1382, the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently turned back an effort to revive the non-delegation doctrine, a tool that—at least in its sharper versions—could be used to pare back much of the modern administrative state. This post picks up where that one left off and examines how and why the three dissenting justices would revamp the doctrine.
Justice R.G. Bradley’s stinging dissent, joined
Continue Reading Non-Delegation in Wisconsin after Becker v. Dane County: The Dissenters

On August 16, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and ruled that a light duty policy only covering workers injured on the job was lawful, and did not illegally exclude pregnant employees. The decision can be found here. The decision provides guidance under federal law for employers considering whether they can limit light duty to only those employees injured on the job. In particular, this decision is helpful
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds Work-Related Light Duty Policy Need Not Be Extended to Pregnant Employees

At the end of its 2021-22 term, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Becker, et al. v. Dane County, et al., Nos. 2021AP1343 & 2021AP1382. The case affirmed the validity of orders issued by the joint public health department of Dane County and the City of Madison to control COVID-19 by, among other things, requiring face coverings and limiting gatherings. Specifically, the Court rejected a challenge by plaintiffs—the affected residents and businesses—to local health officials’ authority to
Continue Reading Non-Delegation in Wisconsin after Becker v. Dane County

Retirement Plan Developments

IRS Extends Additional Deadlines for Adopting Amendments Under CARES Act and CAA
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline for amending eligible retirement plans to reflect provisions relating to plan loans and coronavirus‑related distributions under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and qualified disaster‑related distributions under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA).  The IRS announced the extension in Notice 2022‑45.

The CARES Act allowed qualified individuals to receive favorable
Continue Reading Retirement and Health Plan Legal Updates, Compliance Deadlines

This article was originally published in Husch Blackwell’s Labor and Employment Law Insights blog and is published here with the author’s permission.

While diversity, equity, and inclusion have slowly made their way to the forefront of many employers’ minds, two dimensions of diversity are often overlooked in these discussions –neurodiversity and ability diversity. More than 1 billion people, 15% of the global population, live with a disability. Thus, employers must ensure that neurodiversity and employees and applicants with
Continue Reading Creating Inclusive Workplaces for Neurodivergent and Employees with Disabilities

Do you have employees in the Viking state? If so, keep reading!  On July 1, 2022, Minnesota adopted a new law legalizing the sale, purchase, and consumption of edible cannabinoid products to people aged 21 and over. The law legalized the use of edible cannabinoid products made from substances extracted from certified hemp plants.  The product can contain no more than 0.3% of any hemp-derived THC and no more than five milligrams of THC per serving (or more than
Continue Reading Minnesota Latest State to Legalize THC Products

In a 3-2 ruling by the five-member National Labor Relations Board, employers must now continue to deduct union dues – otherwise known as dues checkoff – from workers’ paychecks even after collective bargaining agreements containing such provisions expire. Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc., N.L.R.B., Case 28-CA-213783 (Sept. 30, 2022). This ruling represents a return to the standard of the Board under President Obama after just three years during which dues checkoff could be discontinued in the event of contract
Continue Reading Continuation of Dues Checkoff Now Considered Status Quo by Divided NLRB

On September 6, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as to the legal standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Under the current analysis of joint-employer status established by the NLRB during the Trump administration in 2020, a company must exercise “substantial direct and immediate control” over essential terms and conditions of employment to be considered the employer of another company’s employees.  “Substantial direct and immediate control”
Continue Reading NLRB Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Joint-Employer Status

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., No 21-1690 (7th Cir. Aug. 16, 2022) recently recognized that an employer has the right to exclude pregnant workers from its light duty work program created for employees injured on the job.  While the case addressed only the exclusion of pregnant workers under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the decision may also have implications under the
Continue Reading Employer Not Required to Offer Light Duty Positions to Pregnant Employees