Every day of the year, the United Parcel Service flies and drives packages of all sizes in and out of Milwaukee. The company's bustling brown trucks have long been familiar sights on city streets all over the nation. The world's largest package delivery company is being forced to make changes to its worker leave policy by a single former employee, however. UPS recently settled for $2 million a disability discrimination lawsuit that originated with her.
Milwaukee public broadcasting station WUWM recently aired what it calls "The Case For More Doctors With Disabilities." As our readers know, many people who suffer disability through injury or illness can find that they face discrimination in the workplace from employers, supervisors, managers or co-workers.
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."
Wisconsin truck drivers might be interested in a case in which Old Dominion Freight Line was found guilty of violating the American with Disabilities Act and ordered to pay one of its former drivers more than $100,000 in back pay. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company on behalf of the employee after the driver was dismissed when he sought help for an alcohol problem in 2009. Under the Americans with Disability Act, alcoholism is considered a disability. Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.
Wisconsin employers are prohibited by state and federal law from discriminating against employees and prospective employees based on disability. Disability discrimination is covered by the Rehabilitation Act or the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, as well as by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Fair Employment Law in Wisconsin prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee due to his or her disability. This law applies to almost all public and private companies regardless of how many employees it has. Furthermore, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act provides protection from disability discrimination to employees working for companies with more than 15 employees.
Wisconsin employers must abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This federal law states that reasonable accommodations must be made for employees or applicants who suffer from a disability. An employer may be exempt from this requirement if it would create an undue hardship for the company. Reasonable accommodations are defined as modifications to the workplace that enable an employee to do the job to the best of his or her abilities.
Both Wisconsin employees as well as those persons seeking a job in the state may be interested in the requirements placed on employers in order to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law uses the term 'reasonable accommodation" when describing what an employer must do in order to facilitate someone with needs either applying for or performing a job.
Federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on a disability of an employee or job applicant. Disability discrimination is governed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the protections offered by the act, employers may not treat a person less favorably because of a belief that he or she has a disability or a history of disability. Discrimination is prohibited with regard to pay rates, job assignments, hiring and firing decisions, promotions, layoffs, fringe benefits and other employment related matters.
Wisconsin residents who are stressed by traffic may sympathize with a New Jersey woman who has filed a lawsuit against a former employer. In the disability discrimination case, she alleges that her wrongful termination was due to her inability to drive in rush-hour settings. It is reported that the woman took time off for medical issues in 2012 as she suffered from anxiety and depression. The suit indicates that these issues are aggravated by crowded roadways.