Posts from April 2023.

There seems to be an almost daily litany of layoffs by large corporations that instantly become media fodder. For example, McDonald’s recent layoff, widely reported to have impacted hundreds of white collar employees, comes on the heels of mass layoffs by Amazon, Meta, and Disney. Given this climate, it is best for employers to take a look at their policies and procedures for terminating employees, whether individually or as part of a larger reduction in force to ensure compliance with state and federal law.

The National Labor Relations Board, as currently constituted, continues its efforts to kneecap employers who dare to resist unionization efforts. We have already seen NLRB General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo’s, scorched-earth approach to promote unionization through enforcement activities targeting employer conduct that for decades has been perfectly lawful, and then suddenly finding the same conduct to be unlawful and unfair labor practices (including attempting to remove employers’ rights to require a secret-ballot election, instead of accepting authorization cards, to determine union support by a majority of employees; and making it unlawful for employers to hold group meetings with employees during union organizing campaigns to educate employees about the union and the collective bargaining process). Now, not only is conduct that previously has been considered lawful been deemed unlawful, the NLRB is promoting enhanced penalties and damages for employers who commit unfair labor practices.

Proactive employers are well-versed in safeguarding against workplace discrimination based on race, gender, religion, age, or disability. But, what about lesser known forms of prohibited workplace discrimination like genetic information discrimination? The Federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and its Illinois counterpart, Genetic Information Protection Act (GIPA), both prohibit employers from disclosing genetic information or basing any employment decision on an employee’s genetic information. Both statutes contain private rights of action for violations. GIPA, however, contains a statutory damages provision that provides for penalties of $2,500 for each negligent violation, and $15,000 for each intentional or reckless violation. With these severe consequences for non-compliance in mind, we answer some questions on these statutes.

A prior article reviewed a decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court which dealt with the relationship between the workplace and an applicant’s prior domestic violence convictions (Cree, Inc., v. LIRC).  This article will discuss a case which followed later in 2022, a decision of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in Vega v. LIRC, et al.,  2021 AP 24, Petition for Review Denied, which dealt with whether an employee’s admission to his employer of the facts underlying two felony deferred prosecution agreements for sexual assault could serve as an independent basis to terminate the employment of the employee.

Welcome to the Labor and Employment Law Update where attorneys from Amundsen Davis blog about management side labor and employment issues. 



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