Menu Wessels Sherman Joerg Liszka Laverty Seneczko P.C.
Protecting Employers for Over 30 Years
Office Location
St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office
St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office
St. Charles, IL Chicago, IL Office Davenport, IA Office Minneapolis, MN Office Milwaukee, WI Office

April 2017 Archives

Fair Labor Standards Act Rounding Principles

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, companies may use "rounding principles," for employees' hours worked. The FLSA allows companies to round the employees' hours to the nearest quarter hour. But the problem becomes that companies don't implement the principles correctly. Companies violate the rounding principle by only rounding down, which will result in a wage and hour violation.

Chickens Come Home to Roost

As a number of Clients of the Firm would state, over the last ten (10) years, the author has been advising them to get out of/not participate in the Unions' Multi-Employer Pension Funds. It has long been the opinion of the author that this is a quasi-Ponzi Scheme and was destined for failure from the start. When half of the Trustees of such a Plan are Union Business Agents who have little, if any, financial background, how can actual and cogent financial guidance about investigating/managing millions of dollars be provided? The author had the privilege in the early 80's to serve as a Trustee of a Multi-Employer Pension Plan in California and got out of the Trustee Position because of the stupidity of the day-to-day Administration of the Pension Plan and its investment strategy. As an aside, the next time the author negotiated a contract with the Union that had that Pension Plan in it (Retail Clerks Union - Northern California), he got the Client out of the Plan prior to the creation of MEPPA in 1989.

IDES Audits Can Catch You With Your Guard Down

This article is being written as a cautionary tale for readers who are interested in how to have a good outcome in an Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) audit, especially where independent contractors (1099 workers) are at issue.

Illinois Employers - Liable for Criminal Acts of Supervisors?

While the liability of employers in the State of Illinois has been expanded substantially by recent amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act and the recent decision of the US District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in the Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Case No. 15-1720), which was a landmark decision holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, there have been few, if any, cases in which Illinois employers have had to bear the responsibility for the criminal conduct of their employees. Unfortunately, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently issued a decision (March 24, 2017) in the Case of Sherry Anicich v. Home Depot USA, Inc.; Grand Service, LLC and Grand Flower Growers, Inc. (Case No. 16-1693). The Federal Court, acting and applying Illinois law, found that the joint employers were liable for the criminal acts of a supervisor (Brian Cooper - Regional Manager) in his rape and murder of Alisha Bromfield.

Politics and Religion in the Workplace - "Backlash Discrimination" of Muslims and Middle Eastern Employees

Fear, emotionally charged perspectives on the Trump administration's immigration policy and deeply embedded religious views are all topics ripe for disagreements possibly escalating into use of slurs, threats and insults. The workplace, where many of us spend the majority of our weekdays, is one place where these agreements may percolate to a dangerous boiling point.

ACA FAQ of the Month: The American Health Care Act is Dead(?)

On March 24, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled a scheduled vote on the American Health Care Act ("AHCA"), a proposal to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, because it lacked enough support to pass. So, where does this leave the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act? That's such a good question; if you know, please let me know ASAP.

Being Caught in a Tangled Web

In the March, 2017 Client Alert, the Author submitted an Article on giving guidance to Employers in the creation of good documentation to substantiate and defend Employment Decisions when those Decisions are called into question. While the presence (or lack thereof) of good documentation can be the success or failure in any Employment Litigation, there are certain situations where an Employer's documentation may create a "tangled web" in which an Employer catches himself/herself.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Slams NLRB's Test for Employee Status

On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ("D.C. Circuit") issued a forceful decision strongly in favor of FedEx and its claims of independent contractor status for some of its drivers. The D.C. Circuit squarely disagreed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which had held that single-route Ground Division drivers for FedEx were employees (and not independent contractors) under the NLRB independent contractor test. FedEx Home Delivery, an Operating Division of FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. v. NLRB, Nos. 14-1196, 15-1066, 15-1116 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 3, 2017).

What Non-Union Private Sector Employers Need to Do

For the last several years, my advice to union-free clients has been consistent. Even in the face of quickie NLRB elections, employers have the upper hand. Unions in the private sector today are a pale shadow of what they once were. Labor unions can be kept out of your organization with only modest preventative measures. Most of you have a copy of and use my 25 point "ABCs of Staying Union Free". I further distilled these recommendations down to my "Top Ten Tips for Staying Union Free" and they form the basis for a seminar presentation earlier this year. Here they are:

BREAKING NEWS: Seventh Circuit Becomes First Federal Court of Appeals to Recognize Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

In what will certainly be considered a landmark appellate court decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College yesterday concluding that individuals can bring sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By a vote of 8-3, the Court held that discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" (which is not explicitly listed as a protected class under Title VII) is equivalent to discrimination on the basis of "sex" (which is listed as a protected class).

Office Locations

140 S. Dearborn Street
Suite 404
Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312-629-9300
Map & Directions
Chicago, IL Office

9800 Shelard Parkway
Suite 310
Minneapolis, MN 55441

Phone: 952-746-1700
Map & Directions
Minneapolis, MN Office

1860 Executive Drive
Suite E-1
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Phone: 262-560-9696
Map & Directions
Milwaukee, WI Office

101 West Second Street
Suite 307
Davenport, IA 52801

Phone: 563-333-9102
Map & Directions
Davenport, IA Office

Dunham Center
2035 Foxfield Road
St. Charles, IL 60174

Phone: 630-377-1554
Map & Directions
St. Charles, IL Office

Wessels Sherman Joerg Liszka Laverty Seneczko P.C.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.