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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

News media star settles sexual harassment claims for $20 million

There is no denying that Roger Ailes understands the business of television news. The former political consultant was the founding CEO of Fox News, making it into a cable news ratings juggernaut with talk shows and news aimed at a conservative audience.

There is also no denying that the downfall of Ailes was the accusations of sexual harassment filed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and others. A few days ago, Carlson settled her claims against the network and Ailes for $20 million.

Terminated while on FMLA leave? Speak with an attorney

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog know that some employers continue to struggle to meet their obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The law enacted a quarter of a century ago allows workers to take job-protected leave to care for a member of their family or for their own personal health issues.

The statute states that employers are not allowed to "interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any FMLA-protected right." Yet we still see employers interfering with those rights and sometimes retaliating against workers who make use of their FMLA rights.

Insurance company MD: Accommodations are a way of life

He is associate medical director at one of the nation's largest insurance companies, but he has a perspective on disabilities and employer accommodations that might surprise a few of our readers. Dr. Michael Lacroix recently wrote an article in which he described the moaning and groaning he has heard from employers unhappy with their obligations under the Family Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He tries to get employers to look at their legal obligations from a different point of view. For instance, he notes that accommodations have changed over time. He uses eyeglasses as an example.

Research: Brain damage from stroke might be reversible

The numbers are astounding: each year nearly 800,000 Americans suffer stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing a person every 4 minutes. And stroke is the number one cause of disability in the nation, says stroke.org.

New research shows that permanent brain damage caused by stroke might be reversible, however. The new therapeutic technique combines a special protein with transplanted stem cells, according to a media report.

Fired while on maternity leave: Is that legal?

The news came as a jolt to many women who heard that a female magazine editor had been fired while she was on maternity leave. People around the country wondered if the firing was even legal, and whether pregnant women and new moms are protected in the workplace.

The first step in examining the case of Michelle Tan, who was editor in chief of Seventeen magazine, is to note the limitations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Though the law provides some protections to employees, it does not contain "standard maternity leave," the Director of Workplace Equality with the National Women's Law Center said. 

University of Wisconsin study dispels workplace discrimination myth

Most people understand that there is a pay gap between the two genders. The question is really why the gap between men and women persists.

One popular explanation has been that men are typically more assertive and therefore ask more frequently and effectively for raises. A recent University of Wisconsin study lays waste to the explanation, however. It shows "no difference" in how likely an average man and an average woman are to ask for raises.

Author: Family leave is good for employees and employers

For many employees, the most important things about their employer lie beyond the paycheck. Generous vacation, quality health insurance and a solid pension plan are some of the benefits people look for in companies today.

People are increasingly looking at family leave policies as well when they consider moving from one employer to another. As more companies enact paid family leave policies, those firms attract some of the brightest talent, and more important to their shareholders and management, they actually save money. 

Living with disabilities

The numbers might jump out and surprise some readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog, but here it is: 1 in 5 Americans are disabled.

Because of changing attitudes and evolving technologies, it is today easier to live a full life with a disability than ever before. But living life to its fullest potential is often only possible when long-term disability insurance coverage is honored by the insurer and benefits are paid.

Wisconsin gets a “C” for family leave protections

As readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog know, the Family and Medical Leave Act protects eligible workers in a wide variety of situations requiring time away from the workplace. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to care for a child or spouse, deal with their own health problem or care for a newborn baby, among other conditions.

A new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families measures family benefits on a state-by-state basis, evaluating how states have gone above and beyond the FMLA (or not gone above and beyond). The 81-page assessment gives Wisconsin a passing grade of C.

How to stop workplace harassment

They came to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and they talked about ways to improve workplaces in America. They were employees and employers, as well as academics, psychologists, advocacy groups, trainers, union representatives and attorneys.

They gave the EEOC task force their ideas about how to prevent workplace harassment and how to stop it once it starts. Now the task force has released its 95-page report chock full of strategies that employers can use to thwart workplace harassment that can include sex discrimination, racially insensitive comments and communications, religious discrimination and hostile physical conduct.

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