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Tax incremental financing, also known as “TIF” financing, is a tool that municipalities utilize by providing financial incentives to spur development.  More specifically, the TIF process allows a municipality to pay for public improvements or other related costs associated with a particular development. In doing so, a developer offsets certain costs that would otherwise prohibit a development from occurring. The municipality then recovers those costs from the future tax revenue generated by a property’s increased tax assessment.
Two of
Continue Reading What is Tax Incremental Financing (TIF)?

One of the more frequent questions that we receive at the PIA Legal Hotline is whether an agent should report a potential claim to his or her E & O carrier. Usually, the facts are such that the agent likely did nothing wrong. The agent is worried about his or her loss history and the potential effect on premiums. 
Reality check – do not be penny-wise and pound-foolish. First, to determine whether an agent needs to report a potential claim, the
Continue Reading To Report, or Not to Report, That is the Question

On December 13, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision expanding remedies available to employees who prevail in an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge. In addition to backpay and reinstatement, employers now may be liable for “make-whole” remedies, which include direct or foreseeable harm suffered as a consequence of their unlawful conduct. Monetary awards will be available to remedy virtually all forms of economic harm, even in the absence of egregious circumstances.
Thryv, Inc., operates
Continue Reading NLRB Raises Stakes on Make-whole Remedies

When branding a new product, many businesses allude to copyrighted works either to honor a creative work or cash in on a pop culture success. The practice is very common across a wide variety of products, including t-shirts, stickers, craft beers, and car commercials. You may even be considering alluding to a copyrighted work for your next product. However, brand creators are often unaware of the dangers associated with the practice, as it risks trademark and copyright infringement. This
Continue Reading Be Careful What You Name Your Beer: Alluding to Copyrighted Works in Branding

Wisconsin’s workers’ compensation statute requires employers, absent reasonable cause, to rehire employees who suffered a workplace injury. Normally, employees need to show they reapplied to their old position to make a valid claim under the statute.
An exception exists, however, where an employee doesn’t need to reapply if they were terminated during their recovery period. A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case decided if this exception applies when an employee, who was fired during the recovery period, alleges he
Continue Reading No Sale: Recovery Period Rehire Exception Doesn’t Apply to New Positions

As an employer, one of your worst fears may be that a disgruntled or entrepreneurial former employee may try to share your internal operations, documents, or trade secrets. What you can do to protect your business in these situations may not always be clear. This article is meant to help you consider your options when you think a former employee is trying to sabotage your business by giving competitors an unfair edge against you.
Can I Protect Myself at
Continue Reading My Former Employee is Sharing Confidential Information—Help!

On January 5, 2023, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) proposed a new federal rule at 16 CFR Part 910 to ban employer use of non-compete clauses with a broad class of workers including employees, independent contractors, externs, interns, volunteers, apprentices, and sole proprietors.  The rule would apply to every employer that hires or contracts with a worker to work for the employer and would supersede any conflicting state law that permits the use of non-compete clauses.  The rule
Continue Reading FTC Proposes Federal Rule to Ban Employer Non-Compete Clauses

In a job market with high turnover rates, noncompete contracts are useful ways to protect your business in industries that are susceptible to damage when an employee brings knowledge of internal operations to other companies. This article is meant to help you decide whether your business would benefit from a noncompete contract for your employees or business partners.
Why Draft a Noncompete Contract?
In a job market with high turnover, noncompete contracts can help businesses that operate in competitive
Continue Reading Noncompete Contracts Protect Your Business in a High-turnover Job Market

It’s that time of year again. Family get-togethers, holiday parties, social gatherings, and of course, holiday cheer.  Wisconsin is one of many states that participate in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, which signifies more high-visibility OWI task forces being operational from the middle of December to the beginning of January.  This means the possibility of being stopped for an OWI increases substantially during this period.  It does not
Continue Reading Jingle All the Way, But Do Not Get in Your Sleigh

In early December, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued a decision which addressed a records custodian’s obligation to produce a list of private citizens’ email addresses in response to an open records request under Wisconsin’s Open Records Laws, chapter 19 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The decision, Gierl v. Mequon-Thiensville School District, was recommended for publication. If it is indeed selected for publication, the decision would be binding precedent in Wisconsin.
The case arose when the Mequon-Thiensville School District denied
Continue Reading Open Records Lawsuit

The holiday season is here!  While the rest of you enjoy your eggnog, employment lawyers worry about questions like whether the employer will be vicariously liable for issues that arise if employees consume too much alcohol, whether there will be sexual harassment between co-workers, or whether an injury that occurs during the holiday party will be covered by worker’s compensation.

This year, we review two questions to make sure your holiday party is in compliance with the Fair Labor
Continue Reading Holiday Parties & the FLSA: Avoid A Lump Of Coal

We’re a privately owned company with fewer than 100 employees. Do we have to follow the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act regulations in the event we decide to conduct a temporary layoff soon?
You don’t need to follow the regulations from the federal WARN Act if your company has fewer than 100 employees. By definition, an employer under the federal WARN Act is a business that has 100 or more employees, excluding part-time employees. Therefore, if you
Continue Reading What Small, Private Businesses Should Know About Temporary Layoffs

There’s a growing tendency for workers to request mobility in the labor market. Coupled with this is a growing tendency for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees. This phenomenon has been dubbed a “gig” economy. Recently, Uber agreed to pay $100 million to the state of New Jersey to settle a dispute over how it classified its workers. Wisconsin employers should take note.
What is a ‘gig’ economy?
A gig economy is an environment in
Continue Reading Gig is Up

On December 7, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Speak Out Act.  One purpose of the Act is to empower survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment to come forward by nullifying the enforceability of pre-dispute non-disclosure and non-disparagement contract clauses relating to disputes involving sexual assault or sexual harassment.  The Act arises out of the #MeToo Movement and is evidence that the movement is gaining renewed momentum following a period of quiet during the COVID pandemic.
Continue Reading “Speak Out Act” Against Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Signed Into Law

The law governing Wisconsin limited liability companies (LLCs) will change on January 1, 2023.  In April 2022, Wisconsin adopted a version of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act.  The new law will bring Wisconsin in line with the majority of states and provide more uniformity between Wisconsin LLCs and LLCs from other jurisdictions.  Existing LLCs can opt in or out of the new law.  All LLCs formed after January 1, will be governed by the new law.
Continue Reading Wisconsin LLCs: Deadline to Opt Out of New LLC Law Approaches

Voluntary arbitration agreements involving federal law are enforced under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Section 1 of the FAA exempts certain classes of workers, however, from the enforcement of arbitration. The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a federal circuit court split over whether employees who load cargo for the transportation of goods are engaged in commerce and exempt from arbitration under Section 1.
FAA and Section 1 Exemption
The FAA, enacted in 1925, favors arbitration to resolve employment disputes.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Says Airline Supervisor is Exempt From Federal Arbitration Act