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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

FedEx settles disability discrimination lawsuit

FedEx's most affordable shipping service has agreed to pay a stiff price to resolve a disability discrimination lawsuit. FedEx Ground has agreed to pay $3.3 million and make company-wide changes as part of the settlement.

The shipping giant was accused of denying reasonable accommodations to deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers. FedEx Ground also discriminated against deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants for package handler jobs, the lawsuit stated.

You don't have to fight for long-term disability benefits alone

Long-term disability (LTD) insurance is a safety net that is supposed to catch you if you can no longer work due to a disabling illness or injury. But when the insurance company rejects your LTD claim, you face potentially catastrophic financial and health outcomes.

The odds are stacked against you if you try to appeal the insurer's decision on your own. These multibillion-dollar companies employ their own teams of lawyers and medical experts. Fortunately, you don't have to fight them on your own. For more than 30 years, the Milwaukee employment law office of Alan C. Olson and Associates has proudly stood by disabled workers and successfully fought LTD insurers such as Unum, MetLife, CIGNA, Prudential, the Hartford, Liberty and others in appeals.

Does long-term disability insurance cover mental illnesses?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Our mental health can have a large impact on our overall health and wellness, and it is critical to recognize that mental illnesses affect more people than many might think.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that roughly one in five adults have a mental illness. They are so common, and yet they affect each person very differently. Some mental illnesses can be a significant interference and disruption in an individual’s life.

Former Milwaukee health official settles race discrimination suit

Patricia McManus got off to a rocky start as interim Milwaukee Health Commissioner after her appointment in early 2018 after she told a local radio audience that "the science was still out" on whether vaccines cause autism. The Journal Sentinel reported at the time that "her comments drew sharp criticism from several experts in the field."

Though McManus left the position in September of that year, memories of her bumpy tenure just received another jolt. The former head of the Health Department's Division of Disease Control and Environmental Health recently received a $30,000 settlement in a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed against the city.

Wisconsin police department settles race discrimination lawsuit

Wisconsin is bordered in the east by Milwaukee and Lake Michigan and in the west by the Mississippi River and La Crosse. According to news reports, the city recently settled a former police officer's race discrimination lawsuit for $83,000.

Nathan M. Poke alleged in his suit that he was discriminated against and then forced to resign because he is African American.

Part II: Age discrimination could become tougher to prove

In a previous Milwaukee employment law blog post, we wrote about Babb v Wilkie, an age discrimination case heard in January by the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit was filed by a Veterans Affairs pharmacist (Babb) who alleged she was denied an opportunity to advance her career on the basis of age and gender discrimination.

The Trump administration argued to the Supreme Court that the "but for" standard should be applied in discrimination cases. That standard would require lower courts to recognize that workplace discrimination existed only if an employment decision was made based on one motivating factor.

Part I: Age discrimination could become tougher to prove

Two years ago, an AARP study found that nearly two out of three workers age 45 and above had seen or experienced workplace age discrimination. More than 90 percent of those who had witnessed or experienced age discrimination said they believed that it was common.

If the Trump administration has its way, age discrimination in the workplace might become even more common, and even harder to prove in court.

EEOC to employers: Don’t deny workplace rights during pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges, it is important for everyone to remember that all laws and regulations are still in place and still being enforced. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently reminded employers that they can respond to the virus and protect their businesses and workers without violating federal disability discrimination law.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) continues to apply during the pandemic and it’s important for employers to understand that the ADA doesn’t prevent them from following guidelines issued by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) or Wisconsin or Milwaukee authorities.

Pregnancy discrimination: AutoZone verdict put employers on notice

AutoZone Auto Parts has several of its more than 6,000 stores nationally in the Milwaukee area. Several years ago, the giant car parts retailer was hit with a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit after a woman was demoted after announcing to co-workers that she was pregnant. She was then fired from her AutoZone job after she filed the suit.

A federal jury later awarded her $185 million in punitive damages (designed to punish a wrongdoer) in addition to $872,000 in compensatory damages (designed to compensate for lost wages, medical bills, etc.).

Wisconsin employer accused of age discrimination

One of the most important protections of workplace rights can be found in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). It prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age against workers and job applicants in matters such as wages, promotions, termination of employment and hiring.

A Wisconsin man who was 64 years old at the time he applied for a job with a Madison auto parts seller recently filed an age discrimination lawsuit against RockAuto, LLC.

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