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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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medical license defense lawyerBy: Attorney Kristen Nelson

Doctors and other medical professionals are required to maintain a valid medical license. These licenses must be renewed every two years, and the deadline for renewing a physician’s license is October 31 of odd-numbered years. Doctors who are planning to renew their license will need to understand the information they will need to provide in their renewal application. Those who are concerned about the denial of a renewal based on the information they disclose can work with a professional license defense attorney to determine their options for ensuring that they will be able to maintain a valid license and continue practicing medicine.

Information Required in a Medical License Application

In addition to the application form itself, a person will need to provide the following documentation when renewing their medical license:

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Milwaukee criminal defense lawyerBy: Attorney Cameron Weitzner and Paralegal Rachel Sweet

In recent years, multiple states have relaxed many of the laws related to marijuana. While marijuana has long been considered an illegal drug, it is becoming more and more acceptable as both a recreational substance and a treatment for certain health conditions. Following the legalization of marijuana in nearby states such as Illinois and Michigan, many Wisconsin residents are curious about the drug’s status in their home state. Residents may be unsure about whether they may face drug charges for possessing cannabis.

Marijuana Possession in Wisconsin

While bills that would legalize marijuana have been introduced by Wisconsin legislators multiple times over the past several years, these laws have not passed. This seems unlikely to change, despite the fact that many Wisconsinites support legalization. Currently, marijuana is still considered an illegal controlled substance, and possession of the drug can lead to significant consequences.

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milwaukee child custody lawyerBy: Attorney Max Stephenson

In cases where parents are no longer in a relationship, both parents will be required to support their children financially. While child support is a factor in situations where married parents get divorced, it may also need to be established in other cases, such as when unmarried parents end their relationship. The laws in Wisconsin use a “percentage of income” standard to determine the amount of child support obligations, and the amount paid by the paying parent is calculated by taking a percentage of their gross monthly income based on the number of children being supported. However, this may not address situations where children will spend significant amounts of time in both parents’ homes. In these cases, some additional calculations will need to be performed to determine the parents’ child support obligations.

Child Support in Shared Placement Situations

If a child custody order states that both parents will have physical placement of their children at least 25% of the time, meaning that children stay with each parent for at least 92 days per year, child support obligations will be determined for both parents using the percentage of income standard. Each parent’s obligation will be multiplied by 150 percent to account for the duplication of certain expenses in both parents’ homes. Each parent’s amount will then be multiplied by the percentage of time the children spend with the other parent. The amounts will be offset to determine the amount that one parent will pay to the other.

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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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Wisconsin severance package attorneyBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Many employees encounter employment law issues involving a current or former employer, and these issues may affect their ability to find new job opportunities or earn income based on their skills and experience.  Employees are often asked to sign non-compete or non-solicitation agreements as part of an employment contract or severance package.  Before signing these agreements, employees should be sure to understand the types of restrictions that may be placed on them and whether an agreement will be enforceable if disputes should arise in the future.

Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants in Wisconsin

A non-compete agreement may prohibit an employee from working for a competitor, starting a competing business, or engaging in other competitive activities after leaving a company.  A non-solicitation agreement may prohibit a person from attempting to hire other employees of a company, or a former employee may be restricted from contacting a company’s customers and offering to provide them with goods or services that were provided by their former employer.  These agreements are known as “restrictive covenants” since they place restrictions on the types of business activities a person can engage in.

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Wisconsin severance package attorneyBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Being laid off or terminated by an employer can cause significant difficulties for an employee.  The loss of income may affect a person’s ability to provide for themselves and their family.  A terminated employee may also be concerned about the loss of medical insurance or other benefits.  Fortunately, some employers offer severance packages to employees who are being terminated.  These packages may include severance pay or the extension of benefits while a person is searching for a new job.  Before signing a severance agreement, it is a good idea for a person to consult with an employment law attorney who can advise them of their rights and assist in negotiating more favorable terms.

What Can Be Included in a Severance Agreement?

Federal laws and Wisconsin state laws do not require employers to offer severance pay to workers who are being terminated.  However, it is often to an employer’s benefit to do so, since a severance agreement may allow them to prevent legal claims by a former employee, as well as potential competitive behavior.  Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), employees who are over the age of 40 must be given 21 days to consider a severance agreement, and after signing an agreement, they will have seven days to rescind the agreement.  In many cases, a company will provide employees under the age of 40 with similar amounts of time to determine whether to sign an agreement.

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milwaukee divorce lawyerBy: Attorney Max Stephenson

Since 2014, same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin, and LGBTQ couples have the same rights as opposite-sex husbands and wives. These rights also extend to divorce, and if a same-sex couple chooses to end their marriage, each spouse’s rights will be protected when addressing issues such as property division and spousal support. Same-sex parents will also usually have the right to share child custody. However, there are some complications that may arise in these cases, and LGBTQ parents should be aware of how these matters may be handled when they get divorced or when partners break up.

Issues Related to Child Custody in an LGBTQ Divorce

Wolf v. Walker, the Wisconsin Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, made it clear that when the state’s laws refer to a “husband and wife,” this also includes same-sex couples. This means that same-sex parents will share the same rights toward children as opposite-sex parents. This may become an issue when determining paternity for a child. If a child is born to a mother who is legally married, her spouse will be recognized as the child’s parent, regardless of that spouse’s sex. This will ensure that a same-sex spouse will have parental rights if the parents get divorced, even if the spouse is not the child’s biological parent.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_attn-erin-2.jpgBy: Attorney Erin Strohbehn

When a person creates a last will and testament, they will make decisions about what should be done with their property and assets after their death. A person may choose to divide their assets among their loved ones, including their spouse, children, or other family members, and they may also specify that money or assets should be donated to charity or used for other purposes. In some cases, a person who expected to receive an inheritance may find that they were excluded from their loved one’s will, and they may wish to pursue probate litigation to address this issue. In these situations, a person will need to understand their rights and legal options.

Contesting a Will in Wisconsin

The terms of a person’s last will and testament will generally be followed, as long as the will was valid and executed correctly. In some cases, a presumed beneficiary may contest the validity of a will. A beneficiary may claim that the person did not have “testamentary capacity,” meaning that they were not of sound mind when they created their will or did not fully understand the decisions being made. A will may be challenged if a beneficiary believes that someone exerted “undue influence” on the person, such as by threatening or coercing them into creating a will that went against their actual wishes. Challenges to a will may also be based on claims of fraud or forgery, such as the belief that the will was altered by another party after it was signed.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_attn-erin-1.jpgBy: Attorney Erin Strohbehn

There are multiple types of trusts that can help protect assets. When a trust is created, assets will be placed in the control of a trustee, who will ensure that money or property will be properly distributed to the beneficiaries named in the trust. However, disputes can sometimes arise between the beneficiaries of a trust and the trustee. In these cases, beneficiaries will need to understand their legal options, including whether they can pursue litigation and what remedies may be available for a breach of trust.

Breach of Trust Litigation

A trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of a trust. This means that they are required to act in the beneficiaries’ best interest when managing the assets in the trust and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Beneficiaries may believe that a trustee has committed a breach of trust if they failed to follow their fiduciary duty. For example, a trustee may be accused of mismanaging the trust’s assets or using assets in the trust to pay themselves more than what would be appropriate. A trustee may also have a conflict of interest when managing assets, such as by using the funds in the trust to invest in a business that they own.

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