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What's New at LIRC and the LIRC website
August 21, 2013 -- The Labor and Industry Review Commission has a new member, Dave Falstad. Having been appointed by Governor Walker, Falstad began serving as a commissioner on August 5, 2013.
Falstad has a variety of experience in both the public and private
sector. Falstad concentrated his 25-year private sector career at CASE-IH, a
fortune 500 multinational manufacturing corporation, where he was Senior VP,
Secretary and General Counsel. Prior to his recent resignation,
Falstad served as a Waukesha County Supervisor and chaired the County
Judiciary and Law Enforcement Committee. He also served on the
Wisconsin Counties Association’s Judicial and Public Safety Steering
Committee and was a member of the Waukesha County Airport Operations
Commission. Prior to running for elective public office, Falstad was a
Commissioner and Chairperson of the Labor and Industry Review Commission for
10 years. Falstad also has eleven years of leadership experience at
the regional level as a former Commissioner and Chairperson of the SEWRPC,
the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
Falstad fills the seat of former Commissioner and Chairperson, Robert Glaser, who recently retired.
August 7, 2013 -- In Sohn Manufacturing and Secura Insurance v. LIRC and Tanya Wetor, 2013 WI App 112, __ Wis. 2d __, __ N.W.2d __, (petition for review filed) the Court of Appeals today affirmed the commission’s decision finding that a worker’s injury was caused by the employer’s violations of an OSHA standard and the safe place statute (Wis. Stat. § 101.11) and ordering the employer to pay an additional 15% under Wis. Stat. § 102.57.
On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the employer first argued federal law preempts LIRC's ability to award payments under Wis. Stat. § 102.57. However, the Court noted that Congress explicitly preserved worker's compensation laws from preemption through a saving clause in OSHA. It rejected the employer’s argument that § 102.57 constituted “enforcement” of federal workplace safety regulations and OSHA, stating that § 102.57 is rather a worker's compensation law under the OSHA savings clause.
The employer also argued that that violations of the safe place statute and of federal regulations may not form the basis for an increased compensation award under § 102.57. The employer noted that § 102.57 requires a violation of a statute or rule “of the department of workforce development,” and asserted that neither the safe place statute nor OSHA are “of the department.” The Court held that the most reasonable reading of § 102.57 is that “of the department” modifies “order” and not “statute.”
This page was last updated November 29, 2013.
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