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Tom advises employers on issues such as wage and hour claims, discrimination claims, confidentiality and noncompete agreements, independent contractor relationships, recruiting and retention, policy development, training and discipline. He represents clients before the National Labor Relations Board, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, and other state and federal administrative agencies.

Workplace violence has become a hot topic in today’s discourse; however, workplace violence is not just headline fodder for media outlets. The trend is well-documented and especially felt by the healthcare industry which continues to experience the brunt after the onslaught of COVID-19. In 2018, 73% of all nonfatal workplace violence incidents involved healthcare workers. A late 2020 survey reported that 20% of nurses reported they were facing an increase in workplace violence after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Another study reported a 14.6% increase in workplace violence at New Jersey hospitals over the prior three years.
Continue Reading Code Blue! — Violence in the Workplace

In this podcast episode, join our Labor Law Insiders as they discuss the unique vulnerabilities faced by the healthcare industry at this juncture of history, including the impact on bargaining and of expanded union organizing activities. Our Insiders also explore some actions that employers can take to reduce the possible conflicts between employees and management

Did you miss some of the webinar, want to review some of the material or have a colleague who missed the program? The webinar recording is now available for viewing at your convenience. Simply register using the following link and you will have access to the recorded webcast. https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3418654/CFE58C2AEF93EDB2894F6D043A5D5422?mode=login&email=priscilla.murray@huschblackwell.com
Continue Reading Legal Considerations and Future Vaccine Mandates—How to Prepare for the Federal Vaccine Mandate

1.  I have a unionized workforce. Do I need to bargain before mandating that my employees are Covid vaccinated before reporting to work?

With the CDC largely ending mask requirements for those who are Covid vaccinated, many employers will look anew at whether they will require vaccinations for their employees to participate in the workplace. While this whole topic raises a myriad of questions related to vaccine certificates, maintenance of medical records, and exceptions that might apply to employees because of religious or health accommodations, an entirely separate question comes up as to whether employers may mandate their union workforce to be vaccinated in order to work.
Continue Reading Funny You Should Ask: Is a vaccine mandate a subject of bargaining?

Over the coming months, we can expect to see many significant changes to labor issues affecting healthcare and other sectors of our marketplace. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is almost certain to reinstate the standards of what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit as set forth in a 2011 case, Specialty Healthcare, allowing unions to

outside a hospitalLast August, the Healthcare Worker Violence Protection Act was signed into law by Illinois Governor Rauner. This law creates a new set of employee rights and obligations for healthcare providers in Illinois. Generally, this law is designed to provide personal safety to frontline healthcare providers, such as doctors and nurses, and protect the rights of those who would raise or report safety concerns and assaults by expanding the Illinois Whistleblower Act.
Continue Reading Workplace Violence Protection Act: Illinois Hospitals and Healthcare Providers Face New Challenge

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (“RAINN”) reports that sexual assault and abuse of people with disabilities often goes unnoticed, and, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, people with disabilities are victimized by crime at higher rates than the rest of the population. Too often, it is the caregivers who are the perpetrators. While one with a disability may give consent to sexual activity, there can never be consent between one who is disabled and receiving care and a member of the caregiving staff.
Continue Reading Sexual Abuse of People with Disabilities

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, New York, California and a number of other jurisdictions, both local and state, have passed new laws aimed at combatting sexual harassment in the workplace.  The New York laws require written sexual harassment prevention policy, assurance that all current and new employees, and even applicants for employment, receive a copy of the policy, and mandate annual sexual harassment training for all employees.  In addition, New York law now provides that employers can be liable for sexual harassment of nonemployees in the workplace, such as contractors, vendors and subcontractors.  Recent legislation prohibits employers from using mandatory arbitration provisions in employment contracts or nondisclosure agreements except when this is the victim preference.  Let me suggest that there are some important lessons to be learned from these laws.
Continue Reading Lessons From Changes to New York State’s Sexual Harassment Laws

white collarAs most are aware, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its much anticipated final rule, drastically increasing the salary requirements to qualify as an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee. The DOL estimates that the final rule will extend overtime protections to 4.2 million workers in the first year of implementation and boost wages by $12 billion over the next 10 years. The rule is set to become effective Dec. 1, 2016.
Continue Reading Challenge to the doubling of the white collar salary exemption under FLSA