Wisconsin News & Analysis

  • Up in smoke: Evaluate your drug policies as marijuana laws evolve

    The legalization of marijuana has slowly spread throughout the United States. As of the date of this article, 10 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana on a recreational basis (generally meaning that people older than 21 are able to possess and use certain quantities of the drug). Thirty-three states have legalized marijuana on a medicinal basis (generally meaning that patients may obtain the drug with a doctor's prescription). Wisconsin, though, remains in the minority, and has yet to legalize the drug on either basis. However, that may soon change.

  • U.S. Supreme Court to decide Title VII sexual orientation, gender identity cases

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In recent years, controversy over whether the term "sex" as used in Title VII includes sexual orientation and gender identity has arisen among the federal circuit courts of appeals. There's currently a split among the circuits on the issue. In April 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review three employment law cases involving alleged discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity to resolve the circuit split.

  • The task at hand: focusing on worker classification

    On April 15, 2019, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced the creation of the Joint Enforcement Task Force on Payroll Fraud and Worker Misclassification. The task force, staffed by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), will review potential worker misclassification claims noted by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the DWD, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice and issue an annual compliance report to the governor.

  • Let's be perfectly clear about successor's terms of employment

    The purchase or acquisition of facilities is becoming more and more common in the healthcare industry, particularly for acute care hospitals and long-term care facilities. When the facility that's being purchased or acquired has a unionized workforce, the purchaser must be aware of both the pitfalls and the opportunities that are presented. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) discussed a number of those issues in a recent case.

  • Know the legal issues you face when employees work past 65

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 are still employed. That number has been steadily rising, and it's expected to reach 36 percent over the next five years.

  • Walmart greeter fiasco provides important employment lessons

    Have you ever walked into a Walmart and been greeted by an employee ― frequently disabled or elderly ― who seemed to have no responsibilities other than to welcome customers to the store? Did you ever wonder what the point of the position was or why a corporation the size of Walmart would pay so many people to do it?

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?

  • Do you have a ghost of a chance against ghosting?

    If you're like us (and Seth Meyers), you might have a hard time keeping up with all the latest slang terms having to do with new technologies and trends in social interactions and other aspects of modern life. One such term is "ghosting," which is when a person just stops responding to text messages, usually from someone they recently started dating. The term has slowly spread to other situations in which one person suddenly disappears from another person's life, including—you guessed it—when an employee or job applicant is a no-show with no communication or explanation to the employer.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB chair responds to lawmakers on joint-employer rule. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chair John F. Ring in January responded to a letter from members of Congress urging the Board to withdraw its notice of proposed rulemaking aimed at setting a standard for what constitutes a joint-employer relationship. Representative Bobby Scott (D-Virginia), chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), chair of one of the committee's subcommittees, had urged the NLRB to abide by the joint-employer standard set out in the Browning-Ferris decision, a more employee-friendly standard than the one in the proposed rule. But Ring countered that the Browning-Ferris decision "leaves much unresolved." He also cited the "lack of clarity" as a reason the NLRB initiated rulemaking to set a joint-employment standard. He noted in his January 17 letter to Scott and DeLauro the "significant interest" in a joint-employment standard as well as a "wide range of views," as evidenced by the more than 26,000 individual

  • Workplace Trends

    Report notes big rise in diversity of Fortune 500 boards. A multiyear study of Fortune 500 companies has found big gains in diversity on company boards. The study, titled "Missing Pieces Report: The 2018 Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards," from the Alliance for Board Diversity, in collaboration with Deloitte, says that the number of Fortune 500 companies with better than 40% diversity has more than doubled from 69 to 145 since 2012. Representation of women and minorities on Fortune 500 boards reached an all-time high at 34%, compared to 30.8% in 2016. Total minority representation increased to 16.1% from 12.8% in 2010, the first year Fortune 500 data was captured. The report's findings point to the increase being driven by Fortune 100 companies, which have 25% women and 38.6% women and minorities. Fortune 500 companies lag behind, with 22.5% women and 34% women and minorities.