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October 2016 Archives

Report: Employees using courts to protect FMLA rights

Virtually everyone is agreed that red tape makes government bureaucracy a nightmare. So it is perhaps not surprising that workers are increasingly using the courts rather than the Labor Department when Family and Medical Leave Act rights have been violated.

Racial and disability discrimination lawsuit settled

It is the nation's largest retailer and employer. It is, of course, Wal-Mart. Like every other corner of America, the Milwaukee area has several of the retail giant's stores. Because it is the biggest, it's a good idea to watch how Wal-Mart treats its employees. The company recently settled a legal claim filed by two former workers who accused it of several employment law violations, including racial discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) infractions and retaliation. The former employees also said a hostile work environment permeated the store. 

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In a rough and tumble political season, it seems possible that most people - regardless of party preference - agree that Americans with disabilities "have the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen." Those are the words of President Obama in his recently issued proclamation that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.The president said that too often in U.S. history, people with disabilities have wanted to work, but were not offered jobs, or they faced discrimination in the workplace. But he notes that significant progress has been made and that with ongoing effort, more employees will be accepted for who they are and that no one will be "unable to pursue their dreams because of a disability." 

Researcher: Chronic fatigue more debilitating than cancer

The Mayo Clinic says symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis include pain, extreme exhaustion that can last more than 24 hours after exercise, loss of concentration or memory, unrefreshing sleep, headaches and more. The condition is best known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.A DePaul University researcher has been studying Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME, for a quarter of a century and says the disabiiling condition "is more functionally debilitating than chronic congestive heart disease and cancer." 

Another study confirms discrimination against women in the workplace

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog know that women continue to face discrimination in the workplace. A new study reveals another layer of that unfair bias. Researchers found that women who weigh even slightly more than peers are likely to be discriminated against in hiring. The study shows that those interviewed said that when qualifications are equal, they are less likely to hire a slightly overweight woman than a woman weighing less.

"No More Babies"

"No more babies." That is what the president of a company allegedly said to employees during a staff meeting. The part-owner of a plant nursery also reportedly told female employees at the meeting that the next person to get pregnant should simply stay at home and consider herself fired. As you know, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is prohibited by the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.

Whistleblowers fired at Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo is one of the nation's largest banks, but it has been embroiled in scandal after revelations that employees illegally opened as many as 2 million unauthorized accounts. The latest shockwave to roil the company came when members of Congress spoke at a recent hearing about how Wells Fargo workers who reported the illegal activities were fired for blowing the whistle. Rep. Gwen Moore of Milwaukee said a woman who worked for the bank in her district was pushed out after filing a complaint about the unethical sales activities that resulted in the unauthorized accounts.

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