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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Fast food chain ordered to pay millions in overtime

Though it is popular throughout much of the Midwest, the Steak 'n Shake fast food chain has had mixed success here in Wisconsin. Franchises in various locations near Milwaukee and around the state have opened in recent years, but later closed.

Regardless, the chain continues to enjoy success in much of the rest of the Midwest, though it recently suffered a significant legal setback when a jury decided against the company and in favor of the plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour lawsuit. A federal judge then ordered Steak 'n Shake to pay $7.7 million to a class of 286 managers who were not paid overtime.

Long-term disability insurance: What you should expect

Long-term disability insurance can be the coverage you need to help you after suffering an injury, disability or illness. Long-term disability insurance, or LTD, can be vital in many instances, such as during an extended recovery period after surgery, as well as provide years of income (usually at a reduced rate) related to the inability to return to your job due to a medical condition.

Studies have shown that employees with injuries, disabilities or illnesses miss an average of 2.5 years of work. Long-term disability insurance is usually offered by an employer to cover employees who suffer injuries, illnesses or disabilities that keep them out of work for an extended period of time. When employers do not offer LTD insurance, some employees opt to purchase a private LTD insurance policy.

Sexual harassment complaints climb in #MeToo era

It has been a year and a half since the #MeToo movement roared to life with an exposé of the sexual harassment and assaults by film executive Harvey Weinstein. Since October of 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a significant increase in sexual-harassment complaints even as reports of all types of workplace harassment declined.

The EEOC received 7,609 complaints of sexual harassment in the fiscal year, up 13.6 percent over the previous year. At the same time, there were 76,418 reports filed overall of workplace harassment of all kinds - a 9.3 percent decrease over the previous fiscal year.

Are sore muscles considered a disability?

As you gain momentum in your career, you may not consider what would happen if you became disabled. No matter your definition of “disability,” you likely do not think it will affect you. However, the fact remains that there is no way of telling what the future holds.

Regardless of how hard you try to live a healthy lifestyle and take precautions to remain safe, your body could succumb to any variety of conditions, thereby affecting your ability to earn a livable wage. If you suffer from widespread musculoskeletal pain and are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you may need long-term disability benefits to help you get by financially.

Lowe's managers accuse hardware chain of denying overtime pay

Because spring has finally arrived, hardware stores across the Milwaukee metro area are busy with shoppers buying flower and vegetable seeds, gardening tools, hoses and much more. The Lowe's Home Improvement stores in the area and across Wisconsin are no exception to this annual spring fever tradition.

Not all of the Lowe's employees working to keep customers satisfied are being paid for their efforts, however. That is according to a class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit recently filed against the nation's second largest hardware chain.

Wisconsin insurer facing gender- and age-discrimination allegations

Several large insurance companies call Wisconsin home, including Milwaukee's Northwestern Mutual and Madison's American Family Insurance. Stevens Point's Sentry Insurance is one of the nation's top mutual insurance companies specializing in business coverage.

Sentry was recently sued by a couple who worked for its hospitality business, alleging gender-based discrimination, age discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. The married couple worked at SentryWorld - an offshoot of Sentry Insurance - where they claimed in their federal lawsuit that a hostile, sexist work environment exists.

Time off work could help you cope with PTSD

We all need a mental health day from time to time. Certain circumstances and life events can lead to feelings of hopelessness, result in anxiety or cause physical illness.

But while most people feel like they reach their mental breaking point occasionally, some events can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you have experienced or seen a severe event, you could suffer from PTSD and need help recovering from its effects.

Sports-gear retailer settles race discrimination, retaliation suit

If you go to the Fanatics website, you'll find a wide array of Milwaukee Brewers jerseys, t-shirts, caps, jackets, autographs and more. The online store stocks similar items for the Bucks, University of Wisconsin Badgers, Packers and virtually all other professional sports franchises and college teams. It's a dream come true for sports gear fans.

It's not an entirely pleasant dream, however. The site's owner, Fanatics Retail Group Fulfillment, LLC, recently agreed to settle a race discrimination, harassment and retaliation lawsuit for more than $320,000.

ERISA protections often a challenge for consumers to secure alone

September 2019 will mark 45 years since the signing of one of the more important laws affecting American employees, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The 1974 law regulates certain benefits private employers can offer their employees.

ERISA governs employer-sponsored disability benefits

Insurance company settles FMLA lawsuit for $500,000

As one of the largest American health insurance companies, Humana has more than 50,000 employees in offices across the nation, including a couple here in the Milwaukee area. The company recently agreed to settle a FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) lawsuit for $500,000 with an employee who was fired from her job just two weeks after she returned from leave.

Before she took her leave, the employee had received excellent performance reviews and had been repeatedly promoted. Yet after returning to Humana from leave to give birth and care for her baby, she was terminated and told the firing was for violations of its "critical offenses policy."

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