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Seventh Circuit Says Multiple Month Leave of Absence is Not a Reasonable Accommodation

In two recent cases, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, held an employee in need of a multiple month leave of absence is not within the class of employees protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Seventh Circuit’s decisions present a potential conflict between the obligations imposed…

Is Your School’s Use of Technology in the Classroom Violating FERPA?

With each year, technology plays a more significant role in schools and classrooms.  For example, most school districts use a web-based student information system to manage student data and share that data with parents and school staff.   In addition, if a school district provides a 1:1 device to students, such as an iPad or Chromebook,…

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Can a Student Be Expelled for Threatening School Violence?

School districts are increasingly confronted with threats of school violence made by students, and in light of national events, they are right to take them seriously.  Oftentimes, the question arises of whether such conduct is subject to expulsion. Can a School District Expel a Student for Threatening School Violence? Yes.  Section 120.13(1)(c)1. of the Wisconsin…

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How to Address Off-Duty Conduct in Public and Private Sector Employment

It’s no surprise that employers need to properly address any on-duty misconduct by employees, but we often field questions from clients wondering what to do about activities that occur while their employees are off-duty. Particularly those who are active on social media channels, as well as those who participate in protests or rallies. Whether your…

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Navigating the Rapidly Changing World of Marijuana and the Workplace

Within the last few years, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana in varying degrees – for recreational and/or medical use – and many others are showing signs of considering legalization to some degree. According to a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit…

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Budget Bill Modifies Definition of Domestic Partner in Wisconsin FMLA

November 8, 2017 – The Wisconsin Budget Bill, 2017 Wisconsin Act 59, recently signed into law by the Governor alters the administration of Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (“WFMLA”) for an employee in a domestic partnership. The changes in the Budget Bill will limit the class of employees who are entitled to WFMLA leave for…

U.S. District Court Upholds Validity of Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment Law Concerning Nonresident Pupils

November 6, 2017 – In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin upheld the validity of Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment Law, Wis. Stat. § 118.51, which permits a school district to consider whether special education or related services are available, or whether there is “space available” for such service, in…

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Employee Benefits Update: IRS Benefit Plan Limitations

Earlier this week, the Internal Revenue Service issued the various retirement plan limitations for 2018. There are changes to some of the most important numbers from 2017: Elective Deferral Limit $18,500 Catch-Up Contributions $6,000 415 (Total) Plan Limit $55,000 Compensation Limit $275,000 See an up-to-date chart that shows the historical limits from 2014 through 2018,…

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New Competitive Bid Requirements Recommended by Senate Committee

The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government voted last week to recommend a bill (Senate Bill 236) that would subject school districts to statutory competitive-bidding rules for construction projects.  The bill, as proposed, would also increase the minimum threshold amount for all public construction projects – including school district and other…

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Employee Benefits

Wisconsin’s Right-to-Work Law Upheld by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals

September 20, 2017 – At long last, Wisconsin’s “Right-to-Work” Law (2015 Wisconsin Act 1) has survived review by both the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.  In July, we advised you of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, et al. v. Schimel, No. 16-CV-590,…

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