Client Alert
April, 2018
DOL Rolls Out Voluntary Self-Audit Program (PAID)
Seneczko, Alan
Contact Attorney Al Seneczko in our Oconomowoc office at (262) 560-9600 or by email at
By: Alan E. Seneczko, Esq.
On April 3, 2018 the Department of Labor implemented a new pilot program, in effect for the next six months, under which employers may correct inadvertent minimum wage and overtime violations without the imposition of penalties or liquidated damages (employers must still pay 100% of any back wages owed). Under the new program - Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID), employers are encouraged to conduct self-audits, and if they discover any violations, to report them to the Wage and Hour Division, which will work with the employer and affected employees to correct them.

Recent Court Ruling On Equal Pay Suggests That Salary History Questions May Be Off Limits In Job Interviews
By James B. Sherman, Esq.
Asking job applicants how much they make with their current employer, or what they've been paid in prior positions, are common questions in job interviews for many hiring employers. While questions on salary history generally are not per se unlawful - yet - they can land an employer in hot water. The legal theory against salary questions in onboarding is based on the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and its state law counterparts. These laws make it unlawful for an employer to pay women less than men for doing the same work. However, despite more than 50 years since the Equal Pay Act became law, there are growing concerns that women continue to be paid less than men. If true, basing job offers on a woman's salary history could serve to perpetuate gender-based disparities in pay. This was the rationale in a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in California, which held that setting initial pay of new hires based on their salary history cannot serve as a defense to an Equal Pay claim.

Contact Attorney James Sherman in our Minneapolis office at (952) 746-1700 or by email at
Love Contracts And Policies On Office Romance: What Can An Employer Do?!
By Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.
There has been so much written lately both in gossip columns and legal (and standard) news about sex harassment in the workplace. Employers are understandably quite nervous about dating among co-workers. Can it lead to lawsuits? When does it deteriorate to sex harassment? What should an employer do?

LAYER OF LEGAL PROTECTION: Workplace dating is a fact of life. However, if two co-workers are dating, the employer must be sure that it's consensual. If it turns into a situation where it's not consensual, then the employer needs to be aware of the potential for illegal sexual harassment.

Contact Attorney Nancy Joerg in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
"Me Too" Movement and "Hush Money"
By Walter J. Liszka, Esq.
With the ever increasing coverage and commentary regarding sexual harassment issues (even Speaker Mike Madigan’s office recently) there have been two (2) very interesting developments in the arena of sexual harassment/sexual abuse that Employers should be aware of.
Our brilliant legislators in the Federal Government, while dealing with the various machinations of the budgetary process, immigration, and other very challenging issues, did have the ability to pass a bit of legislation dealing with sexual harassment. This legislation makes it now the personal responsibility of any member of the House of Representatives to pay any sexual harassment settlement or related legal fees out of “his/her own pocket” rather than using their public budget.

Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
The Cutting Edge - Critical Employment Issues
Wessels Sherman is excited to announce our three-city tour of seminars on emerging workplace issues all employers face in 2018
These hard-hitting, half-day seminars feature presentations from three of our firm’s most experienced litigators, who will identify key issues that pose huge risks of potential liability to employers, and provide practical advice and solutions on how to stay out of the cross-hairs of government officials and plaintiffs’ lawyers. Key topics to be covered include:

Key Developments and How to Cope , James Sherman – A summary of critical legal developments that will affect all employers in 2018.
  • Significant Supreme Court decisions
  • Rapidly changing regulations under the Trump administration
  • Reversals of NLRB decisions on employee handbooks, etc.
  • Key EEOC policy developments
  • Other emerging workplace issues

Plus, recent legal developments in Minnesota (Minneapolis presentation)

Bracing for “Me Too”, Jennifer Murphy – You may not be in Hollywood, but drama may be just around your warehouse corner.
  • Taking clues from Hollywood – time to get serious about cracking down on “locker room talk,” “playful antics,” and “boys will be boys”
  • Is your business a matchmaker? What to do when romance blossoms in the workplace
  • Does an accusation of improper conduct equate to guilt? How to conduct an effective investigation – and what to do about ambiguous results
  • What is “sex” for purposes of Title VII

Plus,recent legal developments in Illinois (Elk Grove Village presentation)

Class Action Litigation: Could you be next? Alan Seneczko – The pursuit of minor employment disputes through major class litigation is an enforcement mechanism that is exploding throughout the country. Learn how simple, but erroneous employment practices can place your business at a risk for exposure.
  • Methods of recording and computing hours of work
  • Policies and practices for determining hours worked
  • Methods for calculating overtime compensation
  • Misclassification of independent contractors
  • The DOL’s new PAID (Payroll Audit Independent Determination) self-audit program

Plus, recent legal developments in Wisconsin (Oconomowoc presentation)

Ask the Experts – panel discussion/open questions

James Sherman
Jennifer Adams Murphy
Seneczko, Alan
Alan Seneczko
Connect with Wessels Sherman 
Upcoming Seminars and Events
(Seminar) 8:30 - 12:00
  • Friday, May 18, 2018 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - Elk Grove Village, Illinois
  • Thursday, May 24, 2018 - Wisconsin

How to Properly Structure a Strong Independent Contractor Relationship (Teleseminar), Thursday, May 10, 2018, 2-3 pm
The attorneys of Wessels Sherman have the superior experience, knowledge and leadership to aggressively represent your business nationwide, including St. Charles, Chicago and Cook County, Illinois; Oconomowoc, Wisconsin; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Davenport, Iowa and the entire Quad Cities area.  

CLIENT ALERT Editor-in-Chief........Walter J. Liszka
Minnesota........................................James B. Sherman
Wisconsin.........................................Alan E. Seneczko
Iowa.................................................Joseph H. Laverty
Illinois...............................................Nancy E. Joerg  
The Client Alert is a complimentary newsletter published periodically for clients and friends of Wessels Sherman. We reserve the right to limit distribution of our materials to representatives of management. The materials in this newsletter have been abridged from a variety of sources and are not necessarily applicable to a particular situation. The contents of this mailing should not be construed as legal advice. State laws vary. Readers should consult with legal counsel before taking any action on matters covered by this mailing.