Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Attorneys at Law — Founded 1908

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LONG TERM DISABILITY BENEFITS

Many employers offer group employee benefits policies offering coverage for short term disability and long term disability (LTD). These policies of insurance are usually governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). When an employee becomes unable to work through disability the employee may apply for short term benefits under the policy. If the employee meets the definition of “disabled” under the policy then the employee will receive short term disability benefits. Short term disability benefits are only paid for a short period, usually only 24 months at the maximum. If the employee’s disability persists the employee may then apply for LTD benefits. Many policies contain provisions that define what “disabled” is differently for LTD benefits. Often the degree of illness or inability to function is much higher for continued receipt of benefits. Because the definition for LTD benefits usually requires a much higher level of disability such benefits are often denied by the insurance company. Many times the denial is done unjustly because of an overly conservative or unreasonable view of the employees problems. Unfortunately employees only have a short period of time to fully document their claims for LTD which is why it is very important to consult with an experienced legal practitioner when LTD benefits are in question or denied outright. Having legal representation can make the difference between having no benefits and all benefits of LTD. LTD benefits are often crucially important to persons so disabled they can no longer work. Attorney David Daul has handled many of these cases including litigating these cases in Federal Court. Call for your free consultation today at (920)437-8191.

WORKERS COMPENSATION – RE-TRAINING BENEFITS

On some occasions where an employee is injured on the job, the injury results in permanent restrictions.  These restrictions can be so severe as to totally prohibit the employee from not only performing his/her former job, but any similar job that requires certain physical tasks. Where restrictions limit job abilities, the employee may be required to seek retraining or additional education so he/she can re-enter the work force. Fortunately, our law firm understands Wisconsin workers compensation law and can help you determine your legal rights.

WISCONSIN WORKERS COMPENSATION
Wisconsin law provides that an injured employee may apply to the the Wisconsin Department of Vocational Rehabilitation for an evaluation to determine if additional training or further education will be required to allow the employee to return to the work force.  If the state determines such re-training is required, the employers workers compensation insurance carrier may be responsible for the expense of the re-training or additional education. This expense may include tuition, books, tools, mileage and associated expense.

Workers compensation insurance companies typically dispute such claims.  Both the evaluation process through the state and resolving disputes with the workers compensation insurance carrier is very complex.  These cases often require the assistance of an attorney experienced in Wisconsin workers compensation matters.

If you were injured at work and find yourself with job limiting restrictions and the need for retraining or education, do not hesitate to contact Attorney David Daul for further consultation at (920)217-1240. Attorney Daul is a lawyer at the Green Bay Wisconsin law firm of Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Our attorneys and staff will help you determine your rights under Wisconsin’s workers compensation and related labor laws.

ADMINISTRATIVE SEPARATION BOARDS FOR MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS

Many service members serving in the Reserve or National Guard will encounter circumstances wherein the commander, due to some act by the service member, will be given notice that administrative separation will occur.

MILITARY DISCHARGE RIGHTS
Such actions can result in discharges that may be characterized from full Honorable to Other than Honorable. The service member subjected to such a proceeding can incur substantial difficulty and prejudice in civilian life. You have rights in the matter.

The government must follow certain procedures in separating a service member.  Often the cases can be successfully defended resulting in better characterization of discharge if not totally dismissed altogether.

If you have been given notice that you are subject to administrative separation, consult Green Bay Attorney David Daul. Attorney Daul has handled many such actions, as well as other employment law issues. Please contact him at (920)437-8191 or online – Contact Us.

The attorneys at Wanezek & Jaekels are committed to helping you determine all of your employment rights.

MAKE USE OF WISCONSIN STATUTE 103.13 TO OBTAIN YOUR EMPLOYMENT FILE

Employees often are aggrieved in the decision made by employers with regard to employment advancement, promotion, training and termination.  Employers are frequently less than candid with the employee regarding the reasons for the decisions they make.

OBTAIN YOUR EMPLOYMENT FILE
You may make use of a special law, Wisconsin Statute 103.13 that requires the employer to allow you to make copies or inspect your personnel file.  Often the contents of those files are relevant to claims the employee may have against the employer.

Please consult with Attorney David Daul if you feel you may have claims against the employer, and the employee file is something you would like to obtain.

Wanezek & Jaekels is a Green Bay Wisconsin law firm with attorneys experienced in protecting your rights as an employee.  You may Contact Us online, or call 920.437.8191.

Wage Claims

Green Bay, Wisconsin employees have the right to file a wage claim with the Equal Rights Division if there is a dispute with the employer in the amount of wages owed, or if an employer fails to pay the wages agreed upon for the time actually worked.  You would be well served to retain legal counsel experienced with employment law to assist you in such claims.

FILING A WAGE CLAIM
If the employer refuses to pay wages earned on the regular established payday, the employee should request payment. If the employee doesn’t receive the payment after 6 days, the employee may file a claim with the State within 2 years of the date earned.

Once a claim is filed, the department will seek to resolve the matter with the employer.  This process often results in substantial production of materials that may be useful in litigation later on.  You have the right to bring these claims in court before, during or after the states investigation.  There are statutes that increase the damages available substantially if you use the State’s administrative processes first.

TYPES OF WAGE CLAIMS
The Division may take action on the following types of wage claims:

  • Salaries
  • Commissions
  • Holiday Pay
  • Vacation Pay
  • Severance Pay
  • Dismissal Pay
  • Bonuses
  • Illegal Deductions
  • Supplemental unemployment compensation benefits when required under a binding collective bargaining agreement,
  • Other similar advantages agreed upon between the employer and the employee,
  • Other similar advantages provided by the employer to his employees as an established policy.

If you are a Green Bay area employee and believe you may have a wage claim, you will need an attorney experienced in Wisconsin employment and labor law.  Consult with Attorney David Daul of Wanezek & Jaekels.  You may contact him directly at (920)437-8191, or submit your question using our online Contact Form.

WISCONSIN WORKERS COMP / FAILURE TO RE-HIRE CLAIMS

In the State of Wisconsin, it may be considered an “unreasonable refusal to rehire” when an employee sustained an injury in the course of employment and is subsequently denied reemployment.

UNREASONABLE REFUSAL TO REHIRE
If the employee can show that he or she was refused rehire, the burden shifts to the employer to show a reasonable cause for the refusal to rehire.  Invariably, the employer will attempt to claim that the employee’s position was eliminated or that they no longer had a job which the employee can do with the limitations associated with their work-related injury.

Therefore, the question with claims of unreasonable refusal to rehire is what is “reasonable”.  If an employer is found to have acted unreasonably, then they face significant penalties.

LOST WAGES & PENALTIES
The employee may be awarded wages lost during the period of such refusal, up to and including one year’s worth of wages.  If you have questions with regard to this issue, please contact Attorney David Daul to discuss if you have a viable claim for “refusal to rehire”.

The attorneys at Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., are experienced in handling a variety of work and employment related legal matters, including other workers compensation issues, ERISA rights, and other employee actions against employers in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area.

Severence Agreements

Often at the conclusion of employment, an employer will ask an employee to sign what is commonly referred to as a Severance Agreement.

GIVEN A SEVERANCE AGREEMENT?
Usually, a Severance Agreement offers the employee some amount of money in exchange for waiver of the employee’s rights to bring certain legal claims against the employer.  You are entitled to certain allowances for time to review the terms of the Severance Agreement with an attorney.  For instance, if the employee is over age 40, he or she should be given at least twenty-one days to review the agreement and take it to a lawyer prior to signing it.

NON-COMPETE & CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS
Often employers try to sneak in a non-compete agreement at the last minute to restrict the employee’s ability to find similar employment that may be competitive.  The employer may also ask for a confidentiality agreement which prohibits you from disclosing confidential company information.  However, some employers take these agreements to mean that you could never work for a competitor, because inevitably you would disclose company information as part of that future employment.  In effect, a confidentiality agreement can be treated as a non-compete.

CONSULT AN ATTORNEY BEFORE SIGNING
Most importantly, the Severance Agreement often includes a release where you give up any potential claims you may have against your employer.  The claims that you have against the employer could be far more valuable than the amount of money that you receive for signing the release.  The bottom line is that you should always consult an attorney before entering into a Severance Agreement with your employer.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin law firm of Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., specializes in employment law and has reviewed numerous Severance Agreements.  Our attorneys are able to provide very competent advice and guidance to persons ending employment where a Severance Agreement is involved.  Please call Attorney David Daul at 920.337.8191 to discuss your Severance Agreement and the implications it may have for you.

WISCONSIN LABOR LAWS PROVIDE EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS

In some circumstances, employers do not pay employees the full amount of monies which are owed to them.  Wisconsin has a number of Labor Standards Laws which offer protections to employees, but which vary considerably in their coverage and requirements.  Employers covered by these standards may also be subject, in some cases, to similar Federal Laws.

Fortunately, there are remedies for employees who are impermissibly denied pay, wages, leave, or who experience impermissible deductions.  Wisconsin’s Fair Labor Standards Laws are administered through the Department of Workforce Development.  You may retain an attorney to assist you in making claims against your employer.  If you are successful, you may obtain the unpaid benefits and any attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting the action.Call Attorney David Daul, of Green Bay’s Wanezek & Jaekels, S.C., law firm to discuss your rights 920-427-8191.

- Overview of Employment Laws

EMPLOYERS MAY NOT RETALIATE
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employee who files a complaint, attempts to enforce a right permitted by statute, or testifies in a case or assists in a case under the State’s Labor Standards Laws.  The law’s protections also apply if an employer takes an adverse employment action against the employee because that employer believes the employee has exercised any of the above rights.

MEAL PERIODS
Employers are not required to provide meal periods to adult employees, but it is recommended in the law that employers provide 30 minutes or more for a meal period.  Employers must provide meal periods to all employees under the age of 18.  Meal periods provided to minors must be at least 30 minutes in length, and reasonably close to the usual mealtimes of 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m./noon, 6:00 p.m., and 12:00 a.m./midnight, or near the middle of the shift.  No minor may be employed for more than six consecutive hours without a meal period.  Employers must pay all employees for “on duty” meal periods.  An “on duty” meal period is one where the worker is not provided at least 30 minutes free from work, or where the worker is not free to leave the employer’s premises.  Employers are also not allowed to require that meals be accepted as part of the worker’s wages.

EMPLOYMENT MEDICAL EXAMS
Employers may require applicants for employment, or employees, to take medical examinations.  The employer may pay the costs of those examinations if they are a condition of being hired or remaining employed.

WISCONSIN’S MINIMUM HOURLY WAGE REQUIREMENTS
Wisconsin sets minimum hourly wages which employer’s must use to pay minors under the age of 18 and adults.  The Wisconsin law applies to all private and public employers including non-profit organizations, regardless of whether they are covered by the Federal Minimum Wage Law.  A separate minimum wage rate exists for employees who receive gratuities or tips from patrons.  Employers must pay wages under the schedule for “tipped employees” if they can establish by payroll records that, when tips and wages are added together at the end of a pay period, they at least equal the general minimum wage rate.  Deductions also may be made for board and lodging, within limitations, which vary by employment and the employee’s age.  Sub-minimum wages are authorized only to employers licensed by the Department of Workforce Development who employ persons with disabilities, operate rehabilitation facilities, or participate in bonafide student/learner programs.

EMPLOYMENT REST PERIODS
The law provides that all employees in establishments must be given 24 hours of consecutive rest in each calendar week.  The law does not provide that the rest must be given every 7 days.  An employer may legally schedule work for 12 consecutive days within a 2 week period if the days of rest fall on the first and last days of the 2 week period.  Some employers are exempt from this requirement.

OVERTIME RULES
Wisconsin has a general overtime pay requirement.  Workers, regardless of age, must be paid one and one-half (1 ½) times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, generally.  Certain occupations are exempted from overtime, such as administrative, executive, and professional employees, as well as certain outside sales and commissioned employees.  Often employers incorrectly categorize an employee as “exempt” and attempt to forego paying overtime.  This is often the subject of a dispute as to whether the exemption was appropriate or not.  There are many other facets to Wisconsin’s Employment Law that imparts certain rights in workers, such as the right of certain physical accommodations for manufacturing, mechanical and commercial establishments, sick and vacation pay.  Workers have rights to contest deductions that are inappropriate.

The law is quite complex and involves a statutory mix of Federal and State regulations.  If you feel that you have a Fair Labor Standards complaint, you should seek the assistance of legal counsel.  Attorney Daul has a vast amount of experience in this area and consults frequently with his clients on these subjects.

Contact Attorney David Daul at 920-437-8191.

ERISA CLAIMS AND APPEALS

Many employers offer certain benefits to their employees including group disability policies.  Although this offer is very attractive to employees, it is often the case that when an employee actually becomes disabled, the insurance company providing the coverage is reluctant to award the benefits which can be extensive.  Often times there is a dispute as to whether or not the applicant meets the definition of “disabled.”  If this situation arises, the benefit that the employee expected to receive is often denied by the insurance company.  In cases involving employment group disability policies, a special law called ERISA applies.  In that circumstance, after the denial is made, the applicant usually only has 180 days to put together an appeal packet.  That 180 days is extraordinarily crucial in putting together the packet and submitting an appeal.  In most cases, it is advisable to seek legal assistance in preparing the appeal as certain materials must be submitted that would allow the insurance carrier to reach a determination that the claim is covered where the claim is otherwise disputed.  Persons experiencing a denial and attempting to deal with the denial themselves without the assistance of a lawyer often fail to submit materials that are crucial for later determination.  If the matter is filed in Federal Court, typically you do not get an additional opportunity to submit new materials, or materials that otherwise may serve as a basis to change the outcome of the matter.

Our firm routinely does ERISA type claims and is skilled in preparing appeal packets.  Further, if an insurance company continues to deny the claim, our firm also has extensive experience litigating the matter in Federal Court.  The attorney at our firm specializing in this area of law is Attorney David D. Dauland he would be happy to assist you in your case.

DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS IN WISCONSIN

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based upon race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex/gender, handicap or disability,arrest/conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, military service or outside use of lawful products.  It is unlawful to treat people less favorably than others because of their “protected class” in employment.  The law prohibits discrimination in employment related actions such as recruitment and hiring, pay, promotion, training, demotion, job assignments, leave or benefits, licensing or union membership, lay off and firing, and other employment related actions.

It is also illegal in Wisconsin to retaliate against employees who assert their rights under the fair employment law, the family and medical leave law, and other labor standards law.  Further, it is illegal to harass a person because of their sex or because of their particular protected class.  Further, engaging in most types of genetic testing or giving an improper honesty test is impermissible under Wisconsin law.

Although there are a few exceptions to the foregoing, it is generally illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee for any of the foregoing reasons.  Our law firm has an active practice in representing both employees and employers in employment discrimination claims.  Typically, these claims are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that the employee does not have to pay any attorney’s fees up front.  The lawyer’s fees are paid out of any successful recovery of either attorney fees or, in the event of a settlement, a percentage of the settlement.

In particular, our law firm refers such cases to Attorney David D. Daul who has extensive experience in these types of actions.  For a free assessment, please contact Attorney David D. Daul directly at 920-437-8191.

Obtain Legal Help You Can Rely On

To get in touch with one of our attorneys about your case, call our firm at (920) 437-8191 or fill out the form below.