Robert W. Burns

Location: Green Bay
T: 920.431.2224
F: 920.431.2264
318 S. Washington Street, Suite 300
Green Bay, WI 54301

Publications: Attorney Robert W. Burns

  • Employer Accommodation Obligations Differ Under Federal and State Law

    November 13, 2017

    Two recent cases serve to highlight important differences between the obligations employers face under federal and Wisconsin disability discrimination laws. Wisconsin employers need to be cautious and take those differences into account when making employment decisions. In Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., a case decided September 20, 2017, by the 7th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals (which includes Wisconsin), the federal court held that a multi-month leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some of the other federal circuits have held to the contrary. There was no dispute that...

  • Employers Face Difficult Leave Issues

    March 3, 2017

    One of the more complex issues employers face from time to time is a request from an employee for extended or sporadic leave related to a medical condition. This article will touch on a number of the factors to consider in such scenarios, as well as highlight a recent federal court case which dealt with issues related to extended medical leave. This discussion is based on generalities and competent legal advice should always be sought for guidance in actual instances. Often issues arise when employees with historically good attendance records contract a chronic illness or mental health condition that requires extended...

  • School and Higher Education Law Newsletter

    October 28, 2016

    Featured News: U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Transgender Issue as Wisconsin Federal Judge Allows Transgender Discrimination Lawsuit to Proceed Under Title IX Court Denies Teachers' Attempt at Pre-Act 10 Protections Playing with Fire - Are You Using PBIS Appropriately with Disciplinary Removals? Wisconsin Court of Appeals Upholds School District's Post-Act 10 Reduction of Retirement Benefits Are Your District Websites Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities? Save the Date! Davis & Kuelthau's 29th Annual School Law Seminar US Supreme Court to Weigh in on Transgender Issue as Wisconsin Federal Judge Allows Transgender Discrimination Lawsuit to Proceed Under Title IX On October 28, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed...

  • Court Denies Teachers’ Attempt at Pre-Act 10 Protections

    October 28, 2016

    In a resounding success for Wisconsin school districts, another attempt by the Wisconsin Education Association Council to use the courts to re-insert pre-Act 10 collectively bargained terms into individual teaching contracts has been rejected. In Marks, et al. v. Board of Education of the Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools, Wood County Case No. 14-CV-205, three teachers, represented by attorneys employed by WEAC, claimed their individual teaching contracts were illegal for three reasons. First, they claimed that a for-cause termination standard is inherent in all individual teaching contracts, deeming the arbitrary and capricious standard in their contracts illegal. Second, they argued that by...

  • Wisconsin Passes Right to Work Law

    March 6, 2015

    The Wisconsin Legislature has passed, and Governor Scott Walker has declared he will sign, a “Right to Work” law in Wisconsin. The law will apply to private sector union contracts, prohibiting such contracts from including provisions that require all the employees covered by the contract to be members of the union or pay dues (or other fees in lieu of dues) in order to remain employed. Those provisions are commonly referred to as union security clauses. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 affirmed the right of individual states to enact right to work laws, and Wisconsin is now the 25th state...

  • Labor & Employment Client Newsletter

    February 24, 2015

    Featured News: Act 10 and Total Employee Compensation Review School Board Policies On Releasing Student Directory Data Event: Davis & Kuelthau's 37th Annual Public Officials Program Act 10 and Total Employee Compensation How well do your employees understand their total compensation beyond their base salary? Many employers are now providing information directly to individual employees with respect to how much the employer contributes toward their health insurance benefits. An employee’s total compensation, though, includes other benefits you provide, such as contributions toward retirement benefits. If you are a public employer participating in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), you may have received questions about what types...

  • NLRB Drops Controversial Posting Rule

    January 7, 2014

    On August 30, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published a final rule which was intended to require all employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to post a new notice advising employees of their right to engage in collective bargaining activity. As the NLRA applies to most private sector employers, not just those with unionized workforces, the requirement (including the consequences for failure to post) would have impacted almost all private sector businesses. As was anticipated, the posting rule generated considerable opposition from the human resource and business communities. Litigation was commenced by business groups which resulted...

  • Appeals Court Denies Request to Grant Stay; Act 10 Debate Continues

    March 14, 2013

    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued an Order on March 12, 2013, denying the State Attorney General's request to stay the Dane County Circuit Court decision of Judge Colas that declared certain portions of Act 10 unconstitutional. The Order did not address the merits of the constitutional issues on appeal, but only dealt with the motion to stay. While the denial of the stay means Judge Colas' decision remains in place for now, the Court of Appeals did not resolve the question of whether that Dane County decision has any statewide application, but merely recognized that the debate on that point...

  • NLRB Postpones Implementation of Posting Rule

    April 20, 2012

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a press release stating that its regional offices will postpone the implementation of the controversial posting requirement rule. This rule would have required all private sector employers subject to the Board's jurisdiction (which is almost all private employers) to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including seeking union organization. A previous client alert discussed the background and issues related to the notice requirement; NLRB Issues Final Posting Rule Prior postponements by the Board resulted in the April 30 deadline and the current announcement was...

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