New Wisconsin law grants leave to employees donating bone marrow or organs

by Saul C. Glazer

A new Wisconsin law granting employees leave to donate bone marrow or organs takes effect July 1. It applies to private employers with 50 or more permanent employees as well as to government employers.

The new law allows employees to take up to six weeks of leave to donate organs or bone marrow. The law provides job protections to employees who donate bone marrow or a heart, lung, liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine, or other organ that requires the continuous circulation of blood to remain useful for purposes of transplantation. No more than six weeks of leave may be taken in a 12-month period, and leave may be taken only for the time necessary for the employee to undergo and recover from the donation procedure.

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Appeals court keeps hold on Obama’s immigration orders

May 27, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

No quick resolution is in sight to the uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. On May 26, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on Obama’s actions, which were designed to ease deportation worries for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for years.

“Employers will have to wait possibly months, or years, for the courts or Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for work permits under President Obama’s executive action,” said Elaine C. Young, an attorney with the Kirton McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City and an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter.

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Wisconsin becomes latest right-to-work state

On March 9, a signature by Governor Scott Walker made Wisconsin the 25th state to pass right-to-work legislation. The new law means private-sector workers who don’t join a union won’t have to pay what is known as “fair share” payments assessed on workers who are deemed to benefit from union contracts despite their nonunion status.

The bill represents another blow to organized labor in Wisconsin. Soon after taking office in 2011, Walker spearheaded a drive that cut collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions. That effort sparked huge protests and a recall campaign against him. The measure stood, and he survived the effort to remove him from office. In his 2014 reelection campaign, Walker downplayed right-to-work efforts, but when the bill passed, he promised to sign it.

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Right-to-work bill on the march in Wisconsin

February 26, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Wisconsin is on its way to becoming a right-to-work state. A right-to-work bill passed the state senate on February 25 and is expected to pass the assembly after that body takes it up on March 5. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill as soon as it passes.

The bill will likely have a negative impact on private-sector union interests in the state. In 2011, Walker eliminated the collective bargaining rights of public-sector unions, which resulted in large protests lasting several months in the capitol. The present measure has had little resistance, probably as a result of the timing and the inevitability that right to work will become law.

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Governor Walker friends Facebook users, bars employers from trolling employees’ accounts

by Saul C. Glazer

The question of whether employers can require applicants or current employees to divulge social media passwords has been hotly debated both from a legal and a moral standpoint. On April 8, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill protecting nonpublic social media accounts. This bill, which takes effect April 10, prohibits an employer, educational institution, or landlord from:

  1. Requesting an employee, applicant for employment, student, prospective student, tenant, or prospective tenant to grant access to, allow observation of, or disclose information that allows access to or observation of the personal Internet account of the employee, applicant, student, prospective student, tenant, or prospective tenant; and
  2. Discharging, expelling, suspending, disciplining, or otherwise penalizing or discriminating against any person for exercising the right to refuse such a request, opposing such a practice, filing a complaint or attempting to enforce that right, or testifying or assisting in any action or proceeding to enforce that right.

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Walker to appeal lower court ruling against Wisconsin law restricting union rights

by Timothy Edwards

In what may likely be a temporary victory for public unions in the state of Wisconsin, a Dane County judge declared that Governor Scott Walker’s restrictions to the collective bargaining rights of specific government employees (Act 10) are unconstitutional. The court’s decision is not the last word on this politically charged topic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court, which has already upheld Act 10 on other grounds, is likely to overrule some, if not all, of the trial court’s decision. The Walker administration will seek to postpone implementation of the trial court’s decision pending an appeal. The Wisconsin Supreme Court will likely take the case before any intermediate review by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Act 10 includes a number of provisions that curtail — and in some instances eliminate — the right of specific employees to engage in collective bargaining, deduct dues for general employee unions, obtain wage increases over the cost of living, and obtain certification. Act 10 also limits “fair share” dues agreements (an agreement that all members of a bargaining unit pay a proportionate share of the costs of bargaining) to public safety and transit unions. Finally, Act 10 prohibits the city of Milwaukee from making pension fund contributions that represent the employees’ share. These specific provisions are the most controversial provisions in Act 10 and have set the stage for a heated disagreement about the proper role of public-sector unions in the state.

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New ‘Concealed Carry’ Gun Law in Effect in Wisconsin

October 26, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 1 COMMENTS

by Jessica E. Ozalp
Axley Brynelson, LLP

On November 1, most provisions of Wisconsin’s new “concealed carry” gun statute will go into effect. The law, which Governor Scott Walker signed in early July, establishes a licensing process that allows Wisconsinites age 21 and older to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon anywhere except school zones, police stations, penal institutions, courthouses, government offices with screening devices, and areas of airports beyond security checkpoints.

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Categories: Wisconsin


Wisconsin Bill Would Make It Harder for Felons to Get or Keep School, Prison Jobs

May 10, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

By Saul C. Glazer, Axley Brynelson LLP

The Wisconsin General Assembly has introduced a new bill that would make it permissible for a school (see below for the specific entities covered) to fire or refuse to hire anyone with a felony conviction, regardless of how the felony relates to the employment.

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Ohio Joins Wisconsin, Idaho in Passing Union-Curbing Legislation

March 31, 2011 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

Another state has secured victory in the battle to balance struggling state budgets by restricting collective bargaining rights for public-sector employees. Ohio Governor John Kasich has approved Senate Bill (SB) 5, a bill that is in some ways more restrictive than the highly publicized and protested Wisconsin bill that passed earlier this year.

The bill limits collective bargaining rights for public employees by prohibiting negotiations on health care, sick time, and pension benefits. Public employees would still be permitted to negotiate wages and certain work conditions but would be prohibited from participating in strikes. SB 5 also requires public employees to contribute a higher percentage of their health and pension benefits, reduces the number of vacation days and paid holidays for workers, and eliminates automatic pay increases, instead adopting a system of merit raises and performance pay.

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Wisconsin Budget Bill Takes Tough Stance on Unions, Public Retirement Funds

February 18, 2011 - by: HR Hero 4 COMMENTS

By Troy D. Thompson

On February 11, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker released details of his budget repair bill, a highly publicized measure directed at addressing the state’s budget crisis. Regardless of one’s political bent, there is no question that the bill, if adopted, will significantly change the landscape of public-sector employment in Wisconsin.

The bill takes a tough stance on collective bargaining, public pension funding, and public health insurance. Key union-related provisions of the bill would: read more…

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