Here in Wisconsin when people think about disability benefits, they often think of someone who has been injured on the job or was involved in a catastrophic accident and left unable to work. However, there are also a variety of illnesses and mental health conditions that can leave someone in need of either Social Security disability insurance benefits or long-term disability benefits.
Wisconsin women are protected from pregnancy discrimination under several federal employment laws. In fact, 25 years ago Congress amended Title VII in order to outlaw pregnancy discrimination. Not quite as long ago, back in 1993, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act required employers to provide employees with unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons, including childbirth. And, finally, in 2010 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide break time for mothers to pump breast milk for a nursing child.
Here in Milwaukee, and throughout the country, employees may have certain rights to long-term disability compensation. Long-term disability insurance coverage is meant to protect workers if they become disabled before retiring. Sometimes, this type of insurance is purchased directly from an insurance company, but in other cases it is a part of a standard benefits package offered by an employer.
Here in Wisconsin, and throughout the country, when an employee has knowledge that his or her employer is doing something illegal, the employee is in a very difficult position. The honorable and responsible thing to do is often to report the illegal activity by alerting authorities, but the whistle-blower might then risk being fired or retaliated against by the employer. Of course, it is illegal for the employer to respond in that way, but that does not always stop them.
The Family and Medical Leave Act sometimes seems too good to be true. Under both the federal and Wisconsin laws, an eligible employee is allowed to take up to 12 weeks of leave without pay for major life events. The birth or adoption of a child, a personal health emergency and the serious illness of a member of the employee's immediate family are just a few examples.
Plenty of people in Wisconsin have a disability but are still able to work. The Americans with Disabilities Act serves to protect citizens with disabilities from discrimination. Amendments to the act were passed in 2009 to offer even broader protections.
After many hours of negotiation, a police officer has his job back, along with $240,000 in lost wages. The officer, a 19-year veteran of a police force, says that his professional pride was important in his decision to settle out of court and to accept a significantly lesser amount than his lawyer had initially requested. His whistle-blower lawsuit was a key part of a government scandal that rocked a small town outside of Wisconsin.
The Boy Scouts of America has not wavered in its position on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender scouts and leaders: The LGBT community is not welcome. Scouts and troop leaders of a local council in the Northeast announced recently that they are joining Wisconsin's Northern Star Council in following their own consciences -- and the law.
Every two years, just about everyone becomes a sports fan. The Winter and Summer Olympics have a way of drawing people in, even those of us who program our remotes to skip every sports channel on cable (and there are quite a few). The two weeks of Olympics this summer have seen more people than will admit it watching even the preliminary-preliminary heats of swimming and track events. We have no idea what we're watching, but we are transfixed.