Category Archives: Firm News

Ladies of Charity

Kim Bobo

Mary Domer heads the local chapter of the Ladies of Charity and just chaired the national conference held in Milwaukee.  She recruited Kim Bobo, Director of Interfaith Workers Justice and author of Wage Theft in America to speak to the assembly. Kim’s presentation reminded us of the disparities of wealth in America and how that wage gap is increasing, in some measure because of wage theft.  Among the gems garnered from Kim’s presentation

  • If your employer tells you you are an independent contractor, you’re probably not.
  • Methods of “contingency employment” are on the increase including ever increasing temporary workers, seasonal workers and permanent “part time” workers.
  • Three-quarters of low wage workers don’t get overtime.  These include folks who can’t do all the work needed in 40 hours, but who would be fired if they didn’t perform all the work needed, daycare workers who have to stay off the clock and wait for parents to arrive, and “off the clock” work done in set up and clean up.  The most egregious examples were McDonalds workers told by their managers to clock out and sit and wait in the car until they were needed when more customers arrived.

Kim noted that many “tip” workers do not receive any of the tips, reminding us to either ask the question about whether the worker would receive a tip paid for by credit card or alternatively to simply pay in cash.  She noted an average of $2,600 lost average per year for low wage workers including janitors, drivers, landscapers, care workers.

Despite these negative trends, Kim suggested five ways in which we can all support low wage workers.

  1. Support campaigns to increase the minimum wage.
  2. Help with legislation and ordinances on paid sick days (40 million low wage workers have no paid sick days).
  3. Push Wal-Mart, McDonalds and other employers to increase their wages.  (She noted Wal-Mart does pay well in Europe so they have the capability when they are forced to do so.  Astoundingly, she noted six members of the Walton family possess a significant portion of the wealth in America.)
  4. Support legislation to provide a clear paystub to all employees.  (Many are being paid by debit cards where they have to actually pay money to their employers to get paid.)
  5. Honor employers who pay well through “a living wage certification program” in each of our communities.

 Through these methods and many more, we can all be men and Ladies of Charity.

 

Domer Law Named Best Lawyers’ 2014-15 Milwaukee Workers’ Compensation Law Claimants “Lawyer of the Year”

Domer Law is proud to have been selected by its peers for inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimaints. The firm was named the Best Lawyers’ 2014-15 Milwaukee Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants “Lawyer of the Year.” Only a single lawyer in each practice area, in each community is being honored as a “Lawyer of the Year.”

Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer-review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services.

Both Tom Domer and Charlie Domer are listed in Best Lawyers for their continual advocacy for injured workers. At Domer Law, we are honored by this recognition, and we will continue to fight daily for the rights of Wisconsin’s injured workers.

Tom Domer Speaks Out on Worker’s Compensation Fraud

Tom Domer recently spoke at the SEAK National Worker’s Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference, July 2014 in Cape Cod, MA.  The talk centered on fraud in worker’s compensation—by employees and by employers.   Not all “fraud” is created equal.  According to Tom, “The actual incidents of employee fraud is miniscule relative to employer fraud.”

An interview with Tom on the topic of fraud in worker’s compensation can be found here:

 

Why The Republicans Should Not Cut Food Stamps

Facts about food stamps. Click on this image to see it full size.

Today’s post comes from guest author Paul J. McAndrew, Jr., from Paul McAndrew Law Firm.

While this article is Iowa-centric, the support for food stamps in Wisconsin–and the country–remains paramount.

I write about a debate now occurring in Congress in which the GOP is threatening millions of American families, including 200,000 Iowa households.  The debate is over food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”).

To understand the problem, we need only review the survey-report issued by the Department of Agriculture on September 4.  (Alisha Coleman-JensenMark Nord, Anita Singh, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2012”).  The report shows that nearly 49 million Americans lived in “food insecure” households last year.  This means family members lack consistent access to adequate food throughout the year.  In short, 49 million Americans (over 16 times the Iowa population) went hungry for long periods in 2012.  Worse, children were found to be hungry in 10% of all U.S. families with children.  The agency found that hunger rates since the 2007 recession are much higher than before. 

Many people have a misunderstanding of this hunger; many think the hungry are the same persons who are homeless.  In fact, in most cases the hungry are persons who work at low-paying jobs or are disabled from work.

The GOP (mostly the House GOP) wants to cut food stamps.  Yet, food stamps have been the centerpiece of our country’s safety net for the poor.  Benefits are adjusted for income.  Recipients can use SNAP benefits only for food, notwithstanding Rep. Steve King’s assertion that he knows food stamps are used for bail and tattoos.  Nearly 48 million Americans now receive food stamps (about 15% of the approximately 314 million Americans), at an annual cost to us of about $80 billion.

No matter what Congress decides, food stamps expenditures will be reduced in November, when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill expires.  House Republicans, however, propose Continue reading

Domer Law Firm Named A Tier 1 Law Firm For Workers’ Compensation Law-Claimants By U.S.News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”

Tom and Charlie Domer have received another honor based on their advocacy for injured workers. Domer Law has been named a Tier 1 law firm in Milwaukee for Workers’ Compensation Law-Claimants by U.S.News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2014.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Both Tom and Charlie Domer have been recognized as “Best Lawyers” in The Best Lawyers in America© list.

Domer Law continually strives to maximize benefits and protect the rights of injured workers.

Domer Law Listed In Best Law Firms by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®

Domer Law was recently listed in Best Law Firms by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®

Domer Law was recently listed in the 2013 Best Law Firms by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®.  The firm was listed in the top tier (Tier 1) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants.  According to U.S.News – Best Lawyers® , the “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. 

Both Tom Domer and Charlie Domer are listed in Best Lawyers for their continual advocacy for injured workers.  At Domer Law, we are honored by this recognition, and we will continue to fight daily for the rights of Wisconsin’s injured workers.

Thomas Domer Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Commitment to Injured Workers

Thomas Domer Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Jay Causey present Thomas Domer with the Lifetime Achievement Award

On October 12, 2012, Thomas Domer received the Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG) annual convention.  This is no small honor.  The lifetime achievement award “is reserved for those individuals who have gone above and beyond the norm, and who continue to play a vital role in supporting WILG and advocating for the issues important to WILG’s mission,” which involves representing the interests of injured workers and their families.    

A dinner and award service occurred in Tom’s honor, and the WILG President, J.R. Boyd indicated that “Tom is a great advocate for injured workers, and has performed a Herculean task as co-editor of WILG’s Workers’ First Watch magazine, which continues to be THE best produced workers’ rights magazine in the country.”

As part of the ceremony, the co-editor of Wokers’ First Watch, Jay Causey from Washington, provided a moving and thoughtful introduction. Tom graciously accepted the award and spoke about his long-term commitment to workers and serving others.  It was a fantastic evening and a fitting and deserved tribute.

Join me in congratulating Tom in his career of achievements.

Why Are Worker’s Comp Claims Down

The number of worker’s compensation claims has dropped dramatically

The Wisconsin Association of Worker’s Compensation Attorneys (WAWCA) just held its tenth annual worker’s compensation seminar in Madison, Wisconsin. (I presented the annual case law update.)  A report on the economic health of Wisconsin worker’s compensation (presented by a colleague on the defense side, Paul Riegel) noted reported worker’s compensation claims have dropped from 55,000 in 2001 to less than 35,000 in 2011.  Based upon the first five months of 2012 reporting, 30,000 reported claims are anticipated to be made in 2012.

Applications for hearing on those claims have also diminished, from 7,000 in 2001 to about 5,500 in 2011.  Again based upon projections, the 2012 number of Applications for Hearing will be about 5,600.

Several potential explanations for this drop were provided including:

  1. The days of asbestosis, silicosis, and similar disease may have ended due to the aging population of those of exposed before the implementation of OSHA in 1970 and the lessening amounts of these substances in the workplace.
  2. Employers argue that workplaces are simply safer, resulting in lesser claims.
  3. The safer workplaces argument is rebutted by employee and Union data that fewer people are willing to make claims in a depressed economy for fear of losing their jobs.  While Wisconsin law assesses a “one year’s wages” penalty against an employer who fires or refuses to rehire an injured worker, in tough economic times, that may not be a risk an injured worker is willing to make.  Anecdotal evidence from a variety of sources indicates viable claims, specifically for “wear and tear” type injuries are simply not being made.
  4. The impact of extending Unemployment Compensation benefits from its initial 26 weeks through multiple extensions may diminish worker’s compensation claims since another “safety net” exists.  Additionally, the availability of Social Security may diminish worker’s compensation claims.  General employment trends also suggest Continue reading