Construction on Downtown Westin Milwaukee Hotel Commences

M&Z client, JSWD Wisconsin Venture I LLC, recently commenced construction of a 220-room full service Westin hotel located at 550 North Van Buren Street in downtown Milwaukee.  The Westin Milwaukee will include a fine dining restaurant, lounge, fitness center, 9,000 square feet of meeting facilities and a 5,000 square foot ballroom.  The hotel will be connected to the U.S. Bank Center via skywalk, which will also provide access to the new 833 East Office Building.  The Westin Milwaukee is expected to open in 2017.

Jon Herreman and Michael Marx represent JSWD in connection with all aspects of the organization of JSWD and development of the hotel, including land acquisition, entitlement, franchising, financing, capitalization and construction.  M&Z also represents an affiliate of JSWD, JSWD Commerce LLC, in connection with its organization and development of a SpringHill Suites Marriott hotel in downtown Milwaukee.  The SpringHill Suites Downtown Milwaukee is scheduled to open in 2016.

M&Z continues to be actively involved in the representation of clients locally and nationally in the hospitality industry, including the development and operation of the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown and the Aloft Milwaukee Downtown.

New DOL Guidance Suggests Increased Enforcement Efforts Based on Joint Employer Liability

On January 20, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a new Administrative Interpretation (“AI”) that suggests they will use their enforcement efforts to pursue wage and hour claims against more entities through the joint employer doctrine.  The text of the AI can be found here.  While this does not represent a change in the actual law, the AI suggests that when the DOL brings enforcement actions for wage and hour issues that it will seek to cast as wide of a net as possible and bring in as many entities as possible under the joint employer doctrine.

 

Generally speaking, an employer may have two or more employers for purposes of wage and hour liability where the employee is suffered or permitted to perform work for multiple related entities.  Whether joint employer liability exists is important because, in such scenarios, the employee’s hours of work for both employers are aggregated together for purposes of determining overtime pay and there is joint and several liability for all employers for any violations.  The AI provides additional detail regarding such issues along with examples proffered by the DOL where they contend joint employer liability would exist.

If you have questions about this article, please contact its author, Aaron Graf, at agraf@mzmilw.com.

John Wirth Publishes Article on the Benefits of Using a Turnaround Consultant

John Wirth authored an article entitled “Turnaround Consultants: Helping Businesses Succeed Again” for the Fall 2015 edition of the Ozaukee County Business Connect.  The article examines the benefits of turnaround consultants, what makes such a consultant, and ultimately the business, successful and provides tips on selecting a good turnaround consultant.  A copy of John’s article can be found here.

Ron Stadler Continues to Speak on Special Education Law and Litigation

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In December, Ron Stadler contributed to a full day seminar on special education law entitled “Student Bullying: Proving or Disproving School Negligence.”  Ron gave presentations on the legal framework for negligence claims relating to bullying and ethical implications for school attorneys.  He also presented at a two day seminar on “Advanced Civil Litigation Strategies” speaking on the issues of Effective Use of Motions in Limine and “Addressing Weaknesses In Your Case In Closing Statements.”

Ron was recently invited to present at a seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico in May entitled “Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide”.  He will be speaking on “Essential Special Education Legal Updates You Need to Know” and “504 Plan Eligibility and Accommodation Best Practices.”   Ron regularly represents school districts on school law and special education issues.  As reflected by his speaking schedule, Ron continues to be recognized nationally as an expert on special education law.