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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Update: U.S. Women's National Soccer Team's fight for pay equity

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog will recall that back in June we wrote about the fight for pay equity waged by the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT). The team was then battling for another World Cup title on the field and equal pay off of the field. Since then, of course, the team led by Megan Rapinoe and former University of Wisconsin star Rose Lavelle won its fourth FIFA championship.

This is a good time for an update on the gender discrimination lawsuit the players filed against the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) earlier this year in federal court.

Senior living chain sued for disability discrimination

Brookdale Senior Living operates more than 1,000 retirement communities across the U.S., including several around Wisconsin and one in a Milwaukee suburb. Though the country's largest senior living company touts its ability to accommodate residents with physical limitations, it is accused of being much less hospitable to a job applicant with a disability.

A disability discrimination lawsuit recently filed against Brookdale alleges that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during its hiring process.

Is inflammation considered a disability?

Many jobs require you to perform repetitive tasks. Regardless of the industry you work in, repetition can become troublesome over time. However, if you experience swelling due to health conditions such as arthritis, it could hinder your ability to complete your duties.

You might be familiar with the ways in which inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect your joints. Additionally, nearly half of the people with RA experience symptoms in their kidneys, nerve tissue, lungs or eyes as well. While there is no cure for the painful arthritic effects you might experience, there are some things you can do to manage your symptoms.

Same old story: Age discrimination still plagues corporate America

Many of our Milwaukee employment law blog readers arrive at this spot after a Google search. Unfortunately for the search-engine giant, its own name pops up in queries about age discrimination.

The company recently settled an age discrimination lawsuit for $11 million, Forbes reported. More than 200 job applicants over the age of 40 will share the settlement.

Common FMLA mistakes made by Milwaukee employers

There is little doubt that properly running the Human Resources department for a large Milwaukee employer is a difficult job. HR specialists are typically involved in recruiting, hiring and training new employees. In many companies, they also help resolve conflicts between employees and manage Family Medical Leave Act matters.

A recent article in a finance publication pointed out some of the most common mistakes HR departments make that result in lawsuits under the federal FMLA or the Wisconsin version of the law (W-FMLA). Those laws give employees job-protected rights to unpaid leave for the birth of a child, serious medical condition or to care for an immediate family member.

Au pairs reach $65.5 million back pay settlement

They came from around the world to work around the U.S. - including here in Milwaukee. Au pairs were brought in to take care of children and were often required to perform other household tasks such as cooking, cleaning and chauffeuring, among others.

Though they arrived in the U.S. as young foreigners hired to provide inexpensive child care, they have taught Americans a lesson about fair compensation. Fifteen of the State Department-approved companies that recruited au pairs have reached a $65.5 million settlement in a class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by a handful of au pairs.

Stopping Wisconsin wage theft

Nearly a decade ago, a former waiter joined co-workers in a lawsuit against the owner of a restaurant where they all worked. The group of employees proved to the court that they were victims of wage theft, and had been illegally denied overtime pay and minimum wage. The good news: a federal judge ruled in favor of the two dozen workers, awarding them $1.5 million in damages. The bad news: the workers have been unable to “collect even a penny.”

Because this case was in one of the many states without a wage-lien law, the workers were essentially powerless to enforce the court’s decision. Here in Wisconsin, victims of wage theft are permitted to put a lien on the employer’s property; a powerful legal tool that provides real leverage in compelling a business to pay its workers what they are owed.

Hyatt settles disability discrimination lawsuit for $100,000

The Hyatt Corporation has nearly 800 luxury hotels in more than 50 countries. There are several here in Milwaukee, including a Hyatt hotel downtown and one at the airport.

Though the company prides itself on providing the comforts of home and much more to its customers, it was accused in a disability discrimination lawsuit of refusing to provide a chair to an employee with a chronic back ailment. Hyatt recently agreed to settle the suit with the front desk clerk for $85,000, plus six weeks of paid leave valued at $15,000.

U.S. women's soccer team aims to level the playing field

The U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) started its defense of its World Cup title with a 13-0 thrashing of Thailand that included a pair of goals by former University of Wisconsin star, Rose Lavelle. As the USWNT has piled up goals and wins on the field, all 28 team members have pursued pay equity in a gender discrimination lawsuit off the field.

The women's lawsuit points out that members of the U.S. men's team are paid much more, even though they are historically far less successful. According to the lawsuit, the women on the national team make approximately $8,200 less per game than the men on the national team.

Want to post about your disability on social media? Maybe not.

Social media platforms are great for connecting with old friends, sharing pictures and keeping up with extended family announcements. But there may be some things you do not want to share online.

When you have a disability and seek long-term coverage, your insurance company can thoroughly investigate you and your condition. This could include checking your private social media accounts for anything that runs contrary to your claim.

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