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WSLL @ Your Service   March, 2007
An E-publication of the Wisconsin State Law Library

What's New -- Connie Von Der Heide   This Just In... -- Pete Boll

WSLL Welcomes New Part-Time Staff

Photo Removed(revised April 2009)

Laura Schmidli recently joined the WSLL staff as part-time LTE assistants. She processes and scans Wisconsin Briefs, and works in Circulation and Document Delivery.

Laura has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the UW-Madison, and this fall she’ll begin her master’s program at UW-Madison School of Library & Information Studies. In addition to working here at WSLL, Laura works evenings and weekends at Jo’s Tazzina Café & Confectionery.

Welcome, Laura!

Daylight Saving Time: Spring Ahead Earlier, Fall Back Later

You’ve no doubt heard the news that Daylight Saving Time now begins earlier and ends later. The new “spring ahead” date is the second Sunday in March—this year it’s the 11th –and we won’t “fall back” until the first Sunday in November—this year it’s November 4.

The change is a result of a provision in a federal law signed by President Bush nearly two years ago. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (U.S. Public Law no. 109-58, 119 Stat. 594) was signed into law on August 8, 2005 and contains many, many energy-related provisions, including the enlargement of the period of Daylight Saving Time in order to take further advantage of the longer and later hours of daylight that occur during that part of the year. While much of the Act became effective upon signing, the Daylight Saving Time provision found in section 110 takes effect March 1, 2007. Sometime thereafter, the Daylight Saving Time provisions currently found in Title 15 U.S. Code section 260a will be updated to reflect the new law.

The Wisconsin Legislature recently introduced two bills relating to the change in Daylight Saving Time: 2007 Assembly Bill 46 and 2007 Senate Bill 51 would allow certain alcohol beverage retailers to extend their closing time to 3:30 a.m. instead of 2:30 a.m on the Sunday on which Daylight Saving Time begins. At this writing, both bills are in committee. To read the text and bill histories of AB-46, SB-52 or other legislation, use the search form found in the lower left corner of the Wisconsin Legislature homepage. You may also set up an email alert system to track the progress of any legislation by registering for the Legislature's free Notification Service.

Computer users need to be sure their computers are ready for the changes in Daylight Saving Time. Windows users should check with Microsoft for updates to Windows and Outlook. Macintosh owners can find information on the Apple Web site. Finally, if you use a calendar program, check with the vendor to learn whether an update is needed to fix appointment times during the extended weeks of Daylight Saving Time.

For additional information about Daylight Saving Time, see About: Geography.

This month’s featured titles include:

NEW EDITION: Where the Law Is: An Introduction to Advanced Legal Research, 2nd edition / J.D.S. Armstrong and Christopher A. Knott. Thomson West, 2006.
Call Number KF 240 .A76 2006

Part of the West American Casebook Series, this updated legal research guide is designed specifically for advanced level law students and researchers who want to achieve a better understanding of how to use the sources of legal information covered in introductory courses. Especially useful are sections on making a research plan, sources of administrative law, looseleaf services, and the appendix of legal research guides for each of the fifty states.

UPDATED: Employment Law Manual for Wisconsin Employers / Thomas P. Krukowski ed. Krukowski and Costello S.C., 2007 update.
Call Number KFW 2731 .E464

The target audience for this newly updated, comprehensive reference manual includes human resource professionals, business owners, office managers, corporate counsel, CEOs, plant managers, supervisors and anyone else responsible for employment law compliance. The 2007 update explains the most recent changes, cases and trends in Wisconsin and federal employment law. Highlights include:

  • Wage and Hour – Collective/class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and steps employers can take to avoid such lawsuits; updated minimum wage information and examples; 2006 DOL Opinion Letters on exempt status for store managers and IT (computer) support positions, and deductions from exempt employee salaries; recommended revisions to employee handbook on new safe harbor policy limiting federal liability for improper deductions
  • E-discovery – Effective 12/1/06, steps to take when litigation is commenced or reasonably anticipated; potential consequences for noncompliance; checklist for “litigation hold” on electronic documents
  • Retaliation – Discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Burlington Northern case;
  • what an employer should do to avoid expensive retaliation claims; new guidance on retaliatory harassment
  • Family and Medical Leave – Discussion of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Phillips v. Quebecor World RAI, Inc. involving employee notice of need for leave; a 2006 DOL Opinion Letter clarifying “health insurance” continuation during leave
  • Unemployment Insurance – Changes to the misconduct statute regarding notice for employee absence and tardiness OFCCP’s new definition and guidelines on Internet Applicant, effective 2/6/06; suggestions for non-government contractors in dealing with Internet applications
  • Recent amendments to Wisconsin worker’s compensation law, including costs for prescription medications, and TTD (temporary total disability) benefits when suspending/terminating employees during the healing period for committing a work-related crime or violating drug policy
  • Recent Wisconsin Supreme Court rulings relating to trade secrets - the use of confidential business information to compete or gain unfair advantage
  • Sixteen revised government forms, including EEO-1 form and instructions for September 2007 filing, unemployment and worker’s compensation forms, and several required federal and Wisconsin employment law posters

Check our library catalog for availability of these or other materials you may need. For additional assistance, please contact our Reference Desk.

Tech Tip in Brief -- Heidi Yelk Odds ‘n’ Endings – Amy Crowder

Windows Vista replaces XP Operating System

If you’re in the market for a new home computer, you may have noticed the buzz around Windows Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system. Vista replaces Microsoft’s XP operating system and is the new standard that comes with new PCs targeted to the home or home office computer user.

Microsoft touts Windows Vista as being more secure than previous operating systems (scheduled back-ups and security enhancements that work with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7.0), easier to use (parental controls that even parents can understand), and more entertaining (the “Windows Media Center” makes it easy to view photos, listen to music, play DVDs, and record TV shows).

Browsing Microsoft’s “Windows Vista” webpage is likely to persuade even the skeptical consumer to open his or her wallet. If you’re like many home computer users (myself included) you might still be running Windows 98 or ME. If you’re more up to date, you’re probably running XP. Is it safe or wise to jump to Windows Vista? Opinions vary. Cnet.com recently reviewed Vista, giving the Ultimate version a 7.8 or “very good” rating. PC Magazine is less enthusiastic, calling Vista good but not essential.

Art Saffran, library technical support specialist here at WSLL and also an independent technology consultant, says Vista is a fine choice for the home computer user. He suggests that in order to take full advantage of all Vista features, users should opt for the Home Premium version of Vista rather than Home Basic. Saffran notes that if you’re purchasing a new computer but aren’t entirely sold on Vista, you may want to consider a business line computer from retailers such as a Dell, Gateway or Hewlett-Packard. These PCs are still offered with Windows XP, and might include an option to upgrade to Vista if desired. Whether to upgrade your current operating system to Windows Vista is another question. Users need to determine whether their current PC’s have the necessary hard drive space and memory. Another consideration, says Saffran, is whether their current software applications will run properly with the Vista operating system.

Please send suggestions for future Tech Tips to the editor.

A Notable Book

WSLL recently acquired a beautiful new book, 200 Notable Days: Senate Stories 1787 to 2002. Written by Senate Historian Richard Baker, the book contains brief essays on historic days that have shaped the U.S. Senate. Several March dates are featured, including March 4th, 1789 which marked the beginning of the Senate’s very first session. On this date, eight "conscientious senators" who had braved harsh winter travel conditions met in the nation's temporary capital in New York City. "The eight senators wrote to their missing colleagues 'earnest[ly] requesting that you will be so obliging as to attend as soon as possible.'" Additional members slowly began to arrive, and on April 6th the Senate finally reached quorum and was able to certify the election of George Washington -- "five weeks after his presidential term had officially begun."

Notables for March

March 1st -- In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as the first U.S. national park. Did you know that each year at this park, more people are injured by bison than by bears?

March 3rd – On this day in 1931, the Star Spangled Banner was made the official U.S. national anthem. The song has a range of one and one half octaves and is notoriously difficult to sing.

March 4th thru 10th -- Procrastination Week. Try not to put things off this week!

March 11th -- Daylight Saving Time begins. Move your clocks forward one hour.

March 17th -- St. Patrick's Day. March is also Irish-American Heritage Month. Over 34.5 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry. That’s 8.5 times the entire population of Ireland (4.1 million)!

March 21st -- The first day of SPRING!!!!

Ask a Librarian:  800-322-9755; 608-267-9696 (In Madison); wsll.ref@wicourts.gov
Library Hours/Locations:  WSLL (WI State Law Library), DCLRC (Dane Co. Legal Resource Center), MLRC (Milwaukee Legal Resource Center)
Visit Our Website: http://wilawlibrary.gov

Connie Von Der Heide 608-267-2202 Comments welcome!



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