There may be another labor scandal on the scale of Postville in the making. In an unusual move this month, a high-level economic watchdog has stepped into an investigation concerning allegations of employment law violations concerning illegal immigrants at a popular nationwide food chain. A Securities and Exchange Commission probe into hiring practices at Chipotle Mexican Grill has resulted in a subpoena for additional information.
Following up on our discussion of stroke, we came across the startling results of a recent survey. The researchers found that more than two-thirds of all workers in full-time jobs lack long-term disability insurance. One-third of all such employees simply don't have it available to them, while 38 percent have the option of employer-sponsored coverage but choose not to enroll. The lack of coverage poses an enormous risk, because medical problems, some of which involve disability and inability to work, are factors in approximately 50 percent of all home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies in the U.S.
May is American Stroke Month, and we are taking this opportunity to offer some basic information about one of the most common reasons for long-term disability claims. So far, we have reviewed the types of stroke and talked a little about the physical and cognitive damage a stroke can inflict. During recovery, patients can also experience emotional ups and downs, because the stroke has damaged the part of the brain that controls emotions and, at times, behavior.
The actress Patricia Neal is one of the most famous stroke survivors. Having won an Academy Award and a Tony Award, Neal was at the height of her career when she inexplicably suffered a series of strokes. The physical and emotional toll of her illness and recovery prevented her from performing, from making a living for years after.
Stroke is not just a geriatric issue. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, about 28 percent of the people in this state who have a stroke are under 65. While strokes are often fatal, a good number of people survive a stroke -- a good number of working people, in fact, because stroke is one of the most common causes of long-term disability.
On the eve of Mother's Day, we thought we would discuss a settlement reached at the end of April between Waupaca County and a sheriff's deputy who just happens to be a woman. While the county maintains there was no violation of the deputy's civil rights, the settlement awards the deputy back pay with interest, attorney's fees and damages -- about $142,000 all told.
A motor carrier company in Indiana, Celadon Trucking Services, Inc., was sued by the EEOC for allegedly requiring applicants to submit to physical examinations, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"). See EEOC v. Celadon Trucking Services, Inc., Cause No. 1:12-cv-0275-SEB-TAB. The problem, according to the EEOC, is not that Celadon required applicants to undergo a pre-employment physical examination, but that it did so before giving the applicants a conditional offer of employment.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is having a tough time right now. Exxon-Mobile just bumped the mega-retailer from first place on the Fortune 500 list of revenue-generating U.S. companies. The company is facing allegations of bribing foreign government officials and may soon be hit with a related shareholder suit. With all of this, corporate leaders must have been relieved last week to settle a wage and hour claim brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A postal worker was fired from his job for his prolonged period of absence. However, the former employee claims that it was a case of discrimination. The case addresses the definition of disability and return to work agreements.
Last month, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that repealed the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act. The law had allowed employees that have experienced compensation discrimination based on their protected status to pursue damage claims in state courts. Women especially were dismayed; the wage gap between men and women is very real.
During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of women at work, women doing men's work for the good of society. Things changed after the war, and women have been playing catch-up ever since -- especially when it comes to wages.