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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act works, so why repeal it?

The need to protect Wisconsin workers attempting to balance family responsibility with jobs and careers is the reason why the state enacted its Family Medical Leave Act in 1988. The law prevents worker discrimination for taking family leave or medical leave.

Five years after the state enacted its FMLA, the federal government followed with its own statute. The two laws have coexisted as dual protections for state residents who might be victims of pregnancy discrimination or whose employers might otherwise seek to take advantage of them or subject them to discrimination for taking medical leave.

Overtime pay rights may be expanded soon

The Fair Labor Standards Act may soon see revisions as President Barack Obama and other key politicians call for more employees to be eligible for overtime pay. While the proposed federal law is receiving backlash from business owners, it would mean more equitable pay for millions of workers across the nation.

As the law stands now, the Fair Labor Standards Act states that employees who make less than $23,660 annually and work more than 40 hours a week must be paid time and a half for those extra hours. But, employees who make more or are classified as executives, administrators or professionals may be working well over the 40-hour limit and are not properly compensated.

Appealing a denied Social Security disability insurance claim

Anyone in Wisconsin who is looking to appeal a Social Security disability benefits denial should contact an attorney. An attorney will know the system and be able to help you fight for your benefits.

Filing for Social Security disability insurance can be a challenging, time-consuming task. Paperwork can become tedious, and, in true government fashion, the decision from Social Security can take weeks or even months to come back to you. After waiting all that time, getting a “denied” letter can be downright infuriating. But there is an appeals process to help you get the benefits you need.

What can I do if my long-term benefits are denied?

We hope that you never have to learn about your long-term disability benefits by having to call upon them. But unfortunately, the reason why such benefits exist is because sometimes people just like you can find themselves suffering from an injury or illness that keeps them from working for lengthy durations.

We also hope that if you ever do need to call upon your long-term benefits that the process of making your benefits claim goes smoothly and that your employer and its benefits insurer are sympathetic and cooperative. But again, if that was always the case then there would be no need for we at Alan C. Olson & Associates to be as experienced as we are with helping clients to resolve disputes connected with their long-term disability benefits.

How do I file a whistle-blower retaliation case in Wisconsin?

When you see the company you work for engaging in shady — or downright illegal — practices, it can seem intimidating to report it. The federal government has whistle-blower laws protecting workers who would bring unethical practices to light. In addition, Wisconsin also has its own laws protecting whistle-blowers. Facing punishment from your employer for these kinds of complaint is called retaliation, and it is a violation of law. If your employer retaliated against your whistle-blowing, you can file a claim against them.

In general, you have six years to file a wrongful discharge lawsuit. Some cases and industries have their own statute of limitation, however. Before a lawsuit can be filed, you must file a complaint and attempt to resolve the issue through a state agency, if applicable. If nothing works or you cannot go through a state agency, it is time to get the courts involved.

What rules apply to service animals?

Often, Americans with disabilities will rely on a service animal to help them perform everyday tasks. The most common example is a service dog leading a blind person. These animals are protected by the Americans with Disability Act to be able to go anywhere their owner does. There are a few important facts to keep in mind when it comes to service animals.

First of all, any business that serves the public must allow service dogs in their facility. This can include hotels, bars, theaters and the like. It is illegal for such businesses to turn away a customer due to disability, including needing a service animal.

Long-Term Effects of Strokes

While most associate having a stroke with being in the later years of life, the truth is strokes can happen to just about anyone. In fact, one out of every three deaths in Wisconsin are related to either strokes or heart disease, many of whom are under the age of 65. Unfortunately, strokes are not just a minor inconvenience, either. With the main damage being in the brain, it can take years to fully recover, and sometimes full recovery never happens, leaving victims with a crippling disability.

People who suffer from a stroke often end up having paralysis on one side of the body, which can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks like normal. This is especially true when it comes to speaking. The mouth can become paralyzed as well, making eating, drinking and speaking difficult. In addition, stroke patients may lose some cognitive ability, which can make even forming a simple sentence or remembering what they ate for breakfast a tough chore. Faces and names, even childhood memories, can be forgotten in an instant.

What is a Bad Faith Disability Claim Denial Lawsuit?

When you are dealing with claiming disability, having the insurance company act unfairly toward you can be a huge setback. Not acting expeditiously and justly towards clients is called "acting in bad faith." This is not only aggravating, it is illegal.

In essence, an insurance company cannot deny your claim without good reason or, if they do have reason, without doing a timely investigation of the situation. In Wisconsin, the bases of bad faith are expanded a bit to include:

  • Failing to provide insurance when there is not realistic reason not to do so
  • Unreasonable settlement offers that would not cover the claimer’s expenses
  • Workers’ compensation not covering the claimer

EEOC releases top charges for 2014

As they do every year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released their list of top charges for the previous fiscal year. Between October 2013 and September 2014, nearly 90,000 charges were filed. As it has since fiscal year 2009, retaliation (being punished for being a whistle-blower) was the most common complaint filed, this year making up more than 40 percent of all charges. This is also the most retaliation charges ever filed in one year.

Other charges that rounded out the top five were:

  • Race/racial harassment
  • Sexual harassment/pregnancy
  • Disability
  • Age 
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Alan C. Olson & Associates
2880 S. Moorland Rd.
New Berlin, WI 53151
Toll Free: (888) 843-1261
Phone: (262) 649-4861
Fax: (262) 785-1324

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