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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

"Blatant" pregnancy discrimination lawsuit settled for $80,000

When a woman learns that she is pregnant, it can be one of the most joyous occasions in life. Unfortunately, there are some employers who believe pregnant workers are likely to harm their businesses, so they will try to rid their company of the employees by treating them poorly, denying them opportunities for advancement or even finding excuses to fire them.

In a recent case, a medical documentation company rescinded an employment offer to a woman after the firm found out she was pregnant. According to a news report, the company settled the woman's pregnancy discrimination lawsuit for $80,000. 

How to file an appeal if your disability claim is denied

Like most Americans, you probably have insurance coverage for your home, vehicle and health. Hopefully, you have disability insurance as well, in the event of an accident or injury that prevents you from continuing to support your family through your current source of employment.

However, in some cases, your insurance company might deny your disability claim. But while that process may be frustrating, you can appeal your denial in order to receive long-term disability benefits.

7th Court limits age bias protections

The en banc Seventh Circuit Court, which includes the greater Milwaukee metro area, recently ruled that the protections under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act will now only apply to current employees and not those applying for a new position. This means that older job seekers may find a harder time landing a job in the state of Wisconsin. Under the new interpretation, only those employed with a company can bring suit if they feel that they are being discriminated against for their age in the workplace, such as being passed over for a promotion simply due to the fact that they are older or younger than their co-workers. 

What prompted the ruling?

Passing the Equality Act would help the nation catch up to Wisconsin

Few things make people sit up and notice as they do when a celebrity speaks out. News outlets across Milwaukee and the nation recently paid strict attention when singer Taylor Swift penned a letter to her senator in support of the Equality Act. The measure just passed in the U.S. House of Representatives would amend Title VII by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of prohibited forms of discrimination in the workplace and housing, among other things.

It is not certain that the measure will gain approval in the Senate or that it would be signed into law by the president, but if it does become law, it would be a giant step for the LGBTQ community nationally. However, it should be pointed out that in many ways, the nation would just be catching up to Wisconsin with passage of the Equality Act. Our state banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation more than three decades ago.

Former Wisconsin high school employee claims anti-white discrimination

If you drive west of Milwaukee on Interstate 94 for about 90 miles, you'll arrive in Middleton. The Madison suburb calls itself "The Good Neighbor City," but a former high school employee says she was subjected to racial discrimination and retaliation there.

The former administrative assistant to the dean of students said her civil rights were violated when the school district passed her over for a job because she's a white woman. She recently filed a gender and race discrimination lawsuit against the Middleton-Cross Plains School District in federal court. Such claims are sometimes referred to as "reverse-discrimination."

Lawsuit: Planet Fitness denied membership due to disability

There are three Planet Fitness facilities in Milwaukee, including one downtown. There are more than 1,700 Planet Fitness franchise locations around the country, each and every one of them proclaiming that it is a "judgement free zone." The chain's marketing claims might not include everyone, however.

A woman with a disability said her membership application was denied by a Planet Fitness manager who told her that allowing her to join would encourage others with disabilities to join. The manager allegedly told the woman who has a foot disability that she would be a "liability."

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.

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