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b2ap3_thumbnail_attn-jaclyn_20220817-202310_1.jpgBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

The use of remote work has increased considerably since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more people have been able to work from home, and the ease of online communications has allowed employers to hire people located in other states or even other countries. The growing use of remote work has changed the way many businesses operate, and it has opened up a range of opportunities for both employers and employees. However, it is critical for employers who utilize remote workers to understand the employment laws and regulations that may apply in these situations. Here are some critical legal issues to be aware of with respect to remote employment.

Applicable Law

Knowing what law applies to remote employees is critical to understanding the implications of this business decision. Generally, the default rule is the state where the employee resides is the applicable law. This applies to laws regarding wage and hour, employee injuries and employer data protection, among others. This distinction is particularly important where the laws differ significantly between the home state of the business where a majority of its workforce may reside and that of a single remote employee. For example, where a Wisconsin based company hires a remote employee who lives and works in California, the business must be aware of the differences in various employment laws between the two states. One such distinction relates to restrictive covenants: in California restrictive covenants are virtually unenforceable whereas in Wisconsin they are enforceable. By understanding the differing laws ahead of time, employers can avoid claims for violating them later on.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_JAKheadshot_20220221-181537_1.jpgBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Scams that prey on those who are seeking employment can be particularly cruel - and they are on the rise. Parents of young children, in particular, began seeking work-from-home opportunities more and more during COVID-related school and office closures. In the past, employment scams were a bit easier to spot. Before the pandemic, the simple fact that an employment ad offered a well-paid work-from-home opportunity was often enough to raise suspicions and trigger a deeper investigation. Now that a significant number of legitimate companies have most or all employees working remotely, spotting an employment scam can be trickier. There are, however, a few signs of a questionable position you can keep an eye out for. 

What Are Some Telltale Signs of an Employment Scam?

The sad truth is that these scams prey on those who are already struggling and in need of work. Parents of young children who suddenly had little choice but to work from home when schools shifted to online learning during the pandemic are common victims. Other common victims are young adults struggling to break into the workforce, who may lack the life experience to spot a questionable job ad. Signs to look out for include:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_JAKheadshot.jpgBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Being asked to sign a non-compete contract when you start a job may seem like standard procedure, or it could be a big risk for you, depending on your location and what line of work you are in. Non-competes may include any number of restrictions related to what type of work you can do, where, and when. While generally enforceable, in some cases these agreements may not be enforceable in whole or in part. If you feel that your non-compete clause is truly hindering your career progress and opportunities, it may be worth consulting an attorney for an evaluation. The agreement you signed may not be as ironclad as you may think. 

When is a Non-Compete Clause Unenforceable in Wisconsin?

In determining whether non-compete clauses are enforceable, Wisconsin law attempts to balance the freedom to move within the labor market with the protections companies seek to obtain with these agreements.  If every company was allowed to require every employee to sign a non-compete as a condition of employment, it would be quite difficult for the labor market to function.  Changing jobs could become quite difficult if this were the case.  Therefore, to be enforceable the terms of a non-compete clause must be reasonable and allow an employee to obtain employment, albeit with restrictions.  A few things you should know about non-compete clauses include: 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Capture1.JPGBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

There are a variety of employment law disputes that may arise between employers and employees.  Wage and hour disputes can occur if one or more employees believe that an employer has committed wage theft by failing to properly compensate them for the work they performed.  Employers and employees in Wisconsin will need to understand how the state’s laws address these issues and the options available for resolving these disputes.

Common Wage and Hour Claims

Wage loss claims may address multiple types of issues, including:

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Wisconsin severance package attorneyBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

The loss of a job can cause a great deal of difficulty for a person and their family.  There are a variety of situations where an employee may be laid off, fired, or otherwise terminated, and in some cases, employers may violate the laws when terminating an employee.  Those who have been wrongfully terminated may be able to take legal action against their former employer, and they may recover compensation for the financial losses they have experienced.  In these cases, employees can work with a skilled employment law attorney to determine their best options for holding an employer responsible for its wrongful actions.

Retaliatory Discharge and Other Forms of Wrongful Termination

The laws in Wisconsin follow the doctrine of at-will employment, and this means that an employer or employee can terminate employment at any time for any reason that does not violate the law or go against public policy.  However, there are a number of situations in which an employer is not allowed to terminate an employee, including:

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