Client Alert
January, 2019
A New Year's Resolution To Avoid Extremely Expensive Wage Claims
Contact Attorney Jennifer Adams Murphy in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
By: Jennifer Adams Murphy, Esq.
The New Year is a time for fresh starts - diets, exercise programs and wonderful sounding self-improvement programs. This is great - but in your quest for improvement, don't forget about your business! While resolutions to audit employee classifications and compensation policies and to adopt an arbitration policy may not carry the exciting vision of a new you, they may be the most significant (and long-lasting) of your resolutions this year.

To that end, you should consider:

Audit compensation classifications and policies
√ Implement arbitration agreements

Texas Federal Judge Declares ACA Invalid, is Probably Wrong
By Peter E. Hansen, Esq.
Texas federal judge Reed O'Connor declared the Affordable Care Act invalid in a December 2018 decision that is notable but, ultimately, will likely have no impact on employers' obligations under the ACA. I'd be remiss if I didn't use this opportunity to engage in my new favorite hobby: educating employers about the ACA with the help of random southern phrases I found on Google.

Judge O'Connor demonstrated an impressive amount of gumption by declaring the ACA invalid but, somewhat surprisingly, did not issue an injunction barring its enforcement, meaning the ruling does not attempt to immediately stop the federal government from enforcing the ACA. One presumes he was fixin' to maintain the legal status quo while the decision works its way through the appeals process. So, what does this mean for employers?

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Contact Attorney Peter Hansen in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at
EEOC Lawsuits Demonstrate An Aggressive Position On Employer Obligations To Reasonably Accommodate
By James B. Sherman, Esq.
Employers have a legal obligation to accommodate work-related conflicts posed by an employee’s or applicant’s disability or religious beliefs. This seems simple enough – be “reasonable.” Yet as many business professionals and lawyers know all too well, there is a great deal of room for differences of opinion as to what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation.” Considerable effort (and litigation) has gone into defining what is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (for religion). For its part the EEOC has routinely pushed the envelope; it expects employers to go to great lengths to satisfy their obligation to reasonably accommodate workers. Recent cases dealing with accommodations in the form of service dogs, sign-language interpreters, extended leaves of absence and adjusted work schedules, are just some of the positions taken by the EEOC in litigation (with varying degrees of success). Here are some examples:

Contact Attorney James Sherman in our Minnesota office at (952) 746-1700 or by email at
It Is Dangerous For An Employer To Just Assume That Pregnant Employees Cannot Get The Job Done!
By Nancy E. Joerg, Esq.
Employers put their companies and themselves at great legal risk (unnecessarily!) when they assume that their pregnant employees cannot do their job just because they are pregnant.

Of course, pregnancy can affect or limit an employee's ability to do her job in certain ways, but employers should be very careful that they do not make the blanket assumption that the pregnant employee cannot do her job.

Some employees do not reveal at the time they are interviewed for a new job that they are pregnant. Surprising to some employers, these job applicants have no legal responsibility to reveal their pregnancies before being hired. They can legally withhold that personal information.

Contact Attorney Nancy Joerg in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 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 and Events
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 1-2 pm

Thursday, January 31, 2019, 2-3 pm

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.