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February 2012 Archives

Can I collect unemployment? I quit for a new job, but my new employer changed its mind.

Yes, quite possibly. A common question I receive from individuals seeking help with their unemployment insurance is whether they qualify for benefits if their new job doesn't work out. Most often, this situation rears its head when an employee accepts employment with a new employer while they still have a job. After receiving and accepting an offer of employment and quitting their old job, the employee will face an issue that causes the employer to rescind the offer or terminate them during the introductory period. Most often, the reason will be a discrepancy in a resume or employment background check, a bad reference, or simply a "bad fit" at the new employer.

Appeals court: Contract workers have no whistle-blower protections

More and more, companies are hiring contract employees for short- and long-term projects. Contract workers can be less expensive and a little easier to manage. It is, for example, much easier to let go of a contractor than it is to discharge a full-time employee. But maintaining the line between contractor and employee can be tricky at times. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision that either clarified or muddied that distinction for employers.

DOL proposes FMLA rule changes, concl.

We are wrapping up our series of posts about some recently proposed rule changes issued by the U.S. Department of Labor. To get an idea of how long it takes to turn an act of Congress into regulations, some of these proposed rules are changes to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that were part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010. As we said before, it is important to remember that these proposals apply only to the federal law, not the Wisconsin FMLA.

DOL proposes FMLA rule changes, cont.

We are continuing our discussion of proposed rules from the U.S. Department of Labor. The proposals would amend the federal Family and Medical Leave Act in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 and other laws. It is important to remember that these proposed rules will not affect the Wisconsin FMLA.

DOL proposes FMLA rule changes

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a few changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act that, if approved, will have an impact on workers in Wisconsin. These proposed rules will only change the federal law; the Wisconsin FMLA will not be affected. The public comment period on the new language closes at the end of March.

Budget cuts will not interfere with EEOC's work

In our last post, we discussed the record number of claims that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handled last year. According to the recently released draft strategic plan, budget cuts will not undermine the commission's investigation and enforcement of workplace discrimination claims any time soon.

EEOC: Retaliation tops list in discrimination charges

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that the agency received a record number of discrimination charges in 2011. Once again, charges of retaliation were the most common, with race discrimination charges a close second.

Should you report misconduct in the work place? Probably.

Did you know that 20 percent of employees report that they have been the victim of retaliation for reporting improper behavior on the job? As many Wisconsin residents know, it is against the law for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation against a worker's expressed complaint or concern. A recent article discusses the latest reports about discrimination in the workplace.

Federal court confirms severe obesity is a disability, cont.

We are continuing our discussion of a recent employment law case. A federal court decided the case in favor of the employee, agreeing that severe obesity qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took up the case after the claimant's death.

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