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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Uber investigates sexual harassment, discrimination claims

Eric Holder is the former Attorney General of the United States, but he has taken on a new job these days. Holder was recently hired by Uber to head an investigation into claims of sexual harassment and discrimination made by a woman who used to work as an engineer for the company.

Uber's CEO sent a memo to employees, assuring them that the inquiry will be carried out in "short order" by Holder, the company's new head of human resources and others.

Part II: Who is at highest risk of workplace injury?

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog know that our most recent post was about a new study of workplace injury and disability conducted by researchers at the University of California and Boston University.

According to researchers, Hispanic immigrant men and African American men have the highest rates of workplace injuries. The study's lead author said, "disparities in economic opportunities for minorities lead them to take more hazardous jobs that raise their risk of injury and disability."

Who is at highest risk of workplace injury?

Milwaukee residents are understandably proud of the cultural diversity that is one of the strengths of our city. But we also understand that much work remains to ensure that everyone has the same rights and opportunities to succeed in America.

A recent study shows that imbalances still exist, putting some groups at greater risk of workplace injuries. "Disparities in economic opportunities for minorities lead them to take more hazardous jobs that raise their risk of injury and disability," said the study's lead author.

Former city worker alleges disability and race discrimination

It was originally a pot in which different types of metals were melted and combined. Today, we refer to America as a melting pot where different cultures, ethnicities, races, religions and more are blended.

Unfortunately, there are sometimes employers and managers who want to keep America's rainbow of metals separate from each other. We read recently of a public works supervisor far south of Milwaukee who is charged with discrimination against a worker on the basis of race and disability.

A call to expand FMLA benefits

It is unlikely that you baked a cake or threw a birthday party for one of America's most treasured worker protections. Though the Family and Medical Leave Act turned 24 a few days ago to little fanfare, the event did not pass by unnoticed.

A group of U.S. senators, including Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, reintroduced a bill to create a new, universal paid leave program: the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or FAMILY Act. If it is made into law, it would help workers care for themselves and their families while retaining their jobs and a portion of their incomes.

Jury finds for plaintiff in racial discrimination case

There's an old saying that actions speak louder than words. That saying appears to have been one of the crucial factors in a recent racial discrimination court case decided far from us in Milwaukee.

During the six-day trial, the director of personnel for the city of Brockton, Massachusetts, stated emphatically that she had never assisted particular applicants for jobs with the city's Department of Public Works. But employment law attorneys for the plaintiff made it clear to the jury that the director's behind-the-scenes actions were louder than her words in court.

Penalties for FMLA, ERISA violations rise

In the final days of the Obama administration, the Department of Labor and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) updated the penalties for employment law violations.

The new penalties cover violations in 2017 involving the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), among others.

Ambulance service settles Medicare fraud lawsuit for $12.7 million

The high cost of health care has been a hot topic in the media, at the water cooler and in homes throughout the Milwaukee area for some time now. Some people who work in the health care industry may feel the need to defend the industry during these public debates. At the same time, however, health care fraud has cost taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says that since January 2009 the agency has recovered nearly $20 billion, thanks in large part to whistleblowers who have come forward with evidence of fraud against federal health care programs.

It is important to note that Medicare fraud can occur all along the stream of services in the health care industry. In early 2011, an employee in the company's billing office began noticing oddities in billing practices the he believed including inflated costs to Medicare, as well as seeking reimbursements for unnecessary transports. She brought her concerns to the attention of upper management, but billing discrepancies continued, according to a recent False Claims Act lawsuit.

The case for long-term disability insurance

Life with a disability can be difficult enough. So often life is made more difficult and complicated by an insurer that denies long-term disability benefits.

A recent column by a financial planner laid out good reasons for workers to acquaint themselves with basic facts about long-term disability insurance and why it is so important to you and your family that you are covered in case you are prevented by injury or illness from working.

Financial services giant accused of gender discrimination

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is said to be the biggest banker in the United States. Its 22-story Chase Tower sits along the river in downtown Milwaukee. However, the financial services giant is facing allegations that it paid at least 93 female tech workers less than it paid similar male employees, according to a Department of Labor complaint.

The action was taken by the department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance. If an administration judge rules against JPMorgan Chase in this matter of gender discrimination, and the company then fails to follow directives, it could see all its federal contracts cancelled and be banned from future contracting with the federal government.

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