Client Alert
February, 2019
"Shame on You" Strategies
Contact Attorney Richard Wessels in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
By: Richard H. Wessels, Esq.
Construction industry unions, particularly Operating Engineers Local 150, continue to use the strategy which we regularly refer to as "rats, banners and street theater". They rely on the 2010 Eliason & Knuth NLRB case which gives unions pretty much a green light to engage in secondary boycotts as long as they are not picketing. That Obama Board decision relied primarily on free speech theories. The normal union strategy is to put up a large rat at the premises of a neutral employer that says something like "Shame on You". In other words, there is disruption and demonstration in front of the neutral employer's premises and the whole objective is to have that neutral stop doing business with the primary.

Revisit the "Rat"
By Walter J. Liszka, Esq.
The author is fairly certain that a vast number of the readers of this Article have either seen or unfortunately been involved in a case where a union has placed signage and the RAT at an employer's premise to force the employer to "cease doing business with or supplying another employer with raw materials (i.e., stone, sand, gravel, piping, etc.)" with which the union has a labor dispute. The Obama Labor Board (NLRB) has found this type of activity to be "Free Speech" protected by the First Amendment and exempt from the prohibitions of a "Secondary Boycott."

Under the National Labor Relations Act this type of activity, without the Free Speech Protection, would be a crystal clear violation of Section 8(b)(4) as a Secondary Boycott (i.e. involving an innocent employer who has no direct conflict with nor relationship with the involved Union) in a direct dispute between the Union and the Involved Employer who has a direct relationship with the Union. This Free Speech holding is now under direct attack in a case in which the author represented an Employer who was set upon by Local 150, Operating Engineers, due to a dispute Local 150 had with another employer.

Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
New Prime Loses in its Attempt to Compel Arbitration in Interstate Trucking Case
By Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.
On January 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, a case concerning the enforceability of arbitration agreements in the interstate trucking sector of our economy.

The decision was unanimous (and very anxiously watched by the trucking community nationwide).

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OWNER-OPERATOR SOUGHT MINIMUM WAGE THROUGH A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST NEW PRIME: The facts of the case were not at issue. New Prime Inc. ("New Prime") is an interstate trucking company that engaged plaintiff Dominic Oliveira to drive his own truck under an Independent Contractor Operating Agreement ("Agreement"). The Agreement had both an arbitration clause and a delegation clause (granting the arbitrator authority to evaluate, and then decide, questions of arbitrability).

Contact Attorney Nancy Joerg in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
Limitation on Age Discrimination Claim
By Walter J. Liszka, Esq.
Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh (7 th) Circuit (applicable to the State of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) issued a far-reaching decision on the basis of an 8 to 4 decision (all twelve justices of the 7 th Circuit Court of Appeals Hearing and Ruling on the case) establishing that job applicants may not bring a claim for unintentional age discrimination under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA) ( Kleber v. Care Fusion Corporation decided by Seventh Circuit En Banc Panel January 23, 2019).

Contact Attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by email at
Tackling Employment Law Troubles In 2019 Before They Become “Taxing” To Your Business
Wessels Sherman is excited to announce a two-city tour seminar scheduled just ahead of “tax day” 2019, hosted respectively by Joseph Laverty and James Sherman, Managing Shareholders of our Iowa and Minnesota offices.

These half-day seminars may not help businesses with their IRS filings, but they most certainly will help employers deal with some of the most important workplace problems trending in 2019.

Connect with Wessels Sherman 
Upcoming Seminars, Webinars and Teleseminars
Wednesday, March 27, 1-2 pm

(Seminar) - Hampton Inn & Suites Moline-Quad City International Airport
Friday, March 29, 8 am - 12 pm

(Seminar) - Minneapolis - Embassy Suites Airport
Friday, April 5, 8 am - 12 pm

Thursday, April 18, 2019, 2-3 pm

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 1-2 pm

Thursday, June 20, 2019, 2-3pm

Thursday, September 12, 2019, 2-3 pm

Thursday, November 14, 2019, 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.