Client Alert




Labor and Employment Law Newsletter for Employers  January 2016

Join our employment attorneys for an interesting and informative "Day of Lists," an entire day devoted to the most critical aspects of the decisions and issues you face on a daily basis -- and their legal consequences, all in a unique and fun "list" format.

Cost:  $175 - First person;  $125 - Additional person (same company)    
Location: Country Springs Hotel & Conference Center | Pewaukee, WI
    Early reservation rate: $104 (for registrations made by April 12, 2016)

CREDITS: We are in the process of applying for CLE credits for Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana. Approved credits will be posted. 6.5 CPE and HRCI credits available.
Ryan M. Helgeson
Planning on hiring H-1B employees this year? Now is the time to act!
By: Ryan M. Helgeson, Esq.
The Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B filing season opens on April 1. The H-1B visa is used by employers for the temporary (3-year) employment of foreign nationals with a bachelor's degree or higher in a specific field. In recent years, the annual quota of 85,000 H-1B visas has been filled more quickly than the previous year. Last year, the quota was filled in just one week, by April 7! Therefore, it is strongly recommended that employers be ready to file H-1B petitions by the end of March. Recipients of H-1B visas will be available to begin working for their sponsoring employers on October 1, 2016. If your business is considering an expansion of its workforce in 2016 or 2017 that may include foreign nationals, the time is now to make these decisions. 
If you have any questions regarding the H-1B visa process or any other employment immigration issue, please contact Attorney Ryan Helgeson at (312) 629-9300 or at
In This Issue
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Alan E. Seneczko
FMCSA Prohibition Against Coercion of Drivers Becomes Effective
By: Alan E. Seneczko, Esq.
On January 29, 2016, motor carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries (e.g., brokers, freight-forwarders, etc.) become subject to a new regulation ("The Coercion Rule") that prohibits them from "coercing" drivers of commercial motor vehicles to operate their vehicles in violation of federal motor carrier safety regulations, including drivers' hours-of-service limits; commercial driver's license (CDL) regulations; drug and alcohol testing rules; the hazardous materials regulations, and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

Questions? Contact Attorney Al Seneczko in our Oconomowoc office at (262) 560-9695 or by email at 
ObamaCare FAQ of the Month
ACA Reporting Deadlines Pushed Back
Peter E. Hansen
By: Peter E. Hansen, Esq.
We have some good news for employers with fifty or more full-time employees and employers who sponsor a self-insured group health plan to start 2016 - the IRS pushed the ACA information reporting deadlines back two months, allowing some much-needed extra time to gather the information necessary to comply. The new reporting deadlines are below:
  • Form 1095-C Employee Statement:  Distribute to full-time employees by March 31, 2016
  • Form 1094-C Transmittal:  File with IRS, along with each and every Form 1095-C, by ...
    • Paper filing - May 31, 2016
    • Electronic filing - June 30, 2016
 First, note that the IRS Notice announcing the delay does not reference or suggest any changes to the reporting requirements - so if you already started or completed your reports, you need not revise them. Second, note that the extended deadlines apply only to the 2015 reports - meaning that future years' reporting requirements retain the original filing deadlines of January 31 for Form 1095-C distribution; February 28 for Form 1094-C paper filing; and March 31 for Form 1094-C electronic filing.

Although the extended deadline is welcome news, employers subject to the reporting requirements should be aware that the ACA reports will require a substantial amount of time and energy to prepare. So, no more procrastinating - if you are a large employer, you should begin preparing to file immediately.
Questions? Suggestion for a future ObamaCare FAQ of the Month? Please contact WS Attorney Peter E. Hansen at (262) 560-9696, or email
Nancy E. Joerg
Warning For Employers: On-Call Scheduling Is Dangerous!
By: Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.
The practice of "on-call scheduling" is under fire! Employers who use this practice should be on guard about a changing legal climate in the United States. Many employee legal advocates want this area strictly regulated.
WHAT IS ON-CALL SCHEDULING?: On-call scheduling gives managers valuable flexibility to hold workers "on-call." Then the manager can determine how many workers are actually needed for a particular shift (after the managers get a sense of how busy a store will be). New advanced technologies can assist the managers in more precisely evaluating how many employees are actually needed at any given time. But critics (and there are many!) of on-call scheduling say the practice is potentially harmful and unfair to employees. These critics note that these employees are required to be ready to work if needed but generally are not paid for their time if they are eventually told to stay home.
Under some systems, employees are required to call in on a daily basis to determine if they are expected to work the next day.
If the employee is on-call and suddenly called into work, the employee is expected to report to work shortly after called in. On-call scheduling can prevent the employee from obtaining a second job, lining up child care, making personal plans, traveling, etc.

Call Attorney Nancy E. Joerg of the St. Charles, Illinois office: (630) 377-1554 or email her at  
Visa Basics
Ryan M. Helgeson, Esq.
Ryan M. Helgeson
The B-1 Temporary Business Visitor
By: Ryan M. Helgeson, Esq.
In 2016, I will be presenting a series of articles covering the basics of the most common employment-related visas. This series starts with the B-1 visa, often seen as the simplest of visas, but one which is fraught with the potential for misuse (leading to serious repercussions). The B nonimmigrant visa category is for foreign nationals who wish to temporarily visit the United States for either "business" under B-1 Status or "pleasure" under B-2 status. As will be discussed in more detail below, "business" typically includes non-productive, non-remunerative activities, while "pleasure" includes general tourism and family or medical visits. As Wessels Sherman is a management-side labor and employment law firm, my discussion will focus on the B-1 business visitor and set aside the B-2 pleasure traveler.

In contrast to most other nonimmigrant visa categories, the B-1 visa is not issued by filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Instead, the foreign national applies at a U.S. consulate/embassy abroad. A consular officer reviews the application and decides whether to issue the visa. Individuals that apply for B visas are subject to close scrutiny of their intent to return to their residence abroad. The burden of proof is on the foreign national to demonstrate that they meet each of the requirements for the B-1 visa, including the following:

Read more...    

  If you have any questions regarding the B-1 visa process or any other employment immigration issue, please contact Attorney Ryan Helgeson at (312) 629-9300 or at
Walter J. Liszka
Federal Contractors and Subcontractors-Rules and Regulations
By: Walter J. Liszka, Esq.
It goes without saying that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has been extremely active in its enforcement of regulations during calendar 2015. This new enforcement approach, as well as the continued use by President Obama of Executive Orders that impact Federal Contractors, have resulted in many changes to the "rules and regulations of the road" of government contracting. As 2015 ends and 2016 opens its doors on a new year, it is extremely important that Federal Contractors and Subcontractors are in compliance with OFCCP regulations.
There have been some very significant changes that went into effect in 2015
  • Executive Order 13658: Effective January 1, 2015, for all covered Federal Contracts and Subcontracts that were solicited or renewed with an effective date of January 1, 2015 or later, workers were required to be paid a minimum of $10.10 per hour. Tipped Employees working in conjunction with Federal Contracts or Subcontracts were to receive at least $4.90 per hour. This Executive Order affected all procurement contracts for construction under the Davis-Bacon Act; service contracts under the Service Contract Act; concession contracts; and contracts in connection with federal property or lands and related to the offering of services to Federal Employees, their dependents or the general public. The monetary thresholds for the prime federal contracts that were covered were an excess of $2,000.00 under the Davis-Bacon Act; an excess of $2,500 under the Service Contract Act and prime contracts where workers' wages were governed by the FSLA that exceeded $3,000.00.
It should also be noted that effective January 1, 2016 the hourly minimum wage for workers who perform Federal Contract or Subcontract work changes from a minimum of $10.10 per hour to $10.15 per hour and that the minimum wage for tipped Employees rises from $4.90 per hour to $5.85 per hour.

Questions? Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
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Eye on Labor Report
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Wessels Sherman has always been a leader in providing interested clients with current information on the labor scene in the Upper Midwest and on a national level.
In keeping with our firm's committment to these goals and providing our clients with useful information on what unions are doing and what is happening at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), we have developed an amazing source of the most current information available - our "Eye On Labor."

View a sample Eye on Labor report.  This report is available to interested clients in a convenient emailed format, each week, for free. Reply to Lisa Narug to start receiving these weekly reports right away... again, absolutely for free.

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About the Client Alert
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
WS 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.