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Refusal to Rehire 102.35 WI Wisconsin

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  • Refusal to Rehire 102.35 WI Wisconsin

    Recently I terminated an employee who has been off on WC for 12 months. The employee is still injured and unable to work at this time. His Union filed a grievance and stated that we are violating 102.35 "refusal to rehire" of the State WI WC law. We have always termed employees after 12 months of being off work and it is clearly stated in the CBA that an employee will be terminated and lose their seniority after 12 months due to injury. So this is not a CBA interpretation issue but rather a WC law issue. So my question is; are we violating the law by terminating an employee on WC?

    From my past experiences and what I've read a Prima Facie case is established for 102.35 if 1) employee had a WC injury 2) The employee was terminated 3) the employee applied for rehire 4) the employer refused to rehire due to the employees WC injury. We most definitely did not violate 3 & 4 considering the employee is not even recovered enough to apply for rehire. Did this recently change in WI? This Union has never showed a tendency to attempt mislead in regards labor laws so I am putting a lot of weight into their claim even though my research shows otherwise. I am going to run thru my legal group but this forum has always given me great perspective so I wanted to throw it out here as well. Thanks for any insight you can give.
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