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Wisconsin Legislature Proposes Employer-Friendly Changes to State Employment Laws Related to Offers of Settlement and Remedies

A bill recently proposed in Wisconsin could seriously change litigation strategy and settlement considerations for many employment claims filed with state agencies. Assembly Bill 64 would amend the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (“WFEA”), the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (“WFMLA”), and the relatively new Organ and Bone Marrow Donation Law (“OBMDL”) by empowering both the complainant and an employer to make a statutory offer of settlement. Failing to accept such a settlement offer could result in significant financial consequences.

Non-Solicitation Agreement Enforced in Wisconsin

There are so many stories about restrictive covenants being unenforceable in Wisconsin that it is refreshing to see a case where a restrictive covenant is enforced – especially at the preliminary injunction stage.

Poachers Beware: Wisconsin Court Rules That Restrictions on Employee Solicitation Are Subject to Law Governing Noncompetes

In a case of first impression, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held that anti-poaching provisions in post-employment restrictive covenants are subject to the statutory regulations that govern noncompete agreements in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Court Finds Anti-Poaching Agreements to be Unenforceable

Analyzing an anti-poaching agreement as a non-compete agreement, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals has confirmed that a former employee’s agreement not to solicit other employees may be void and unenforceable if it is too broad. The Manitowoc Company v. Lanning, No. 2015AP1530 (Wis. Ct. App. Aug. 17, 2016). The decision offers an analysis for determining when an anti-poaching agreement goes beyond protecting the employer’s legitimate interests and becomes an unreasonable restraint of trade.

Wisconsin Court Throws Out Choice-of-Law Provision, Then Enforces a Non-Compete Anyway

A recent decision from the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Schetter v. Newcomer Funeral Service Group, Inc., presented a smorgasbord of juicy noncompete issues, including:

Be a Donor ... and Qualify for Unpaid Leave: New Wisconsin Law Goes Into Effect Soon

Effective July 1, 2016, Wisconsin law will require covered employers to provide eligible employees with up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to undergo and recover from bone marrow or organ donation procedures. Previously, only employees of the Wisconsin state government were entitled to leave for such donations.

Several New Worker's Compensation Provisions Favorable to Wisconsin Employers

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law several new employer-friendly 2016 amendments to the state’s Worker’s Compensation Act. In addition to cutting the statute of limitations for traumatic injury claims in half, from 12 years to 6, the amendments also deny benefits to employees under three new provisions added to the law.

How Wisconsin’s Reversal of Decades-Old Ban on Switchblades and Knives Applies to Employers

A new Wisconsin law has repealed the state’s prohibition (which has existed for more than 50 years) on manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing, or possessing a switchblade and which subjected violators to $10,000 in fines and nine months in jail.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Weighs in on the Compensability of Pre- and Post-Shift Work

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently helped clarify the circumstances under which pre- and post-shift donning and doffing constitutes compensable work under Wisconsin’s minimum wage and overtime laws.1 The decision, which involved production workers at a plant owned by Hormel Foods Corporation (“Hormel” or "the company"), also appears to narrow the applicability of the federal de minimis rule under state law.

Wisconsin Eases, But Does Not Eliminate, the One Day of Rest in Seven Law

Effective July 14, 2015, Wisconsin has made it easier for an employer to comply with Wisconsin Statute 103.85, Wisconsin’s “one day of rest in seven” requirement. Under this statute, most factory and mercantile employers must provide their employees with at least 24 consecutive hours of rest for every 7 consecutive days worked. These restrictions do not apply to certain categories of workers, including janitors; security personnel; those employed in the manufacture of butter, cheese or other dairy products, or in the distribution of milk or cream; those who work in canneries or freezers; individuals who are employed in bakeries, flour and feed mills, hotels or restaurants; employees whose duties include no work on Sunday other than caring for live animals or maintaining fires; and workers whose labor is required by an emergency situation that could not reasonably have been anticipated.