Last week we wrote about whistle-blower law and about how workers who report the illegal or fraudulent practices of their employers generally cannot be retaliated against for doing so. There are other types of situations in which employers cannot respond to an employee's complaint by firing him or her as well, and one such case that involved a Wisconsin man just wrapped up.
Whenever an employer in Wisconsin is engaged in fraud or another illegal activity, an employee who knows of these activities can report the actions to authorities. Filing such a report can put employees in an awkward position, as the employer might then retaliate by firing them. This, however, is illegal and the employee can then file a retaliation lawsuit.
Those who ventured out shopping in the early morning hours today, or late night hours Thursday, may have run into a picket line or protest at their local Walmart. In fact, even people in Milwaukee who opted to stay at home and skip the Black Friday frenzy may have received wind about the scattered strikes and demonstrations outside of the some of the big box retailer's stores. It has now been reported that the protests did not affect Walmart's bottom line much, however the media coverage of the events has shined a spotlight on several employment law issues.
While many pregnant women in Wisconsin may be aware that they have a right to maternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, they may not be aware that they also have certain rights in the workplace before the birth of the child. Under federal law, specifically the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers may not discriminate against female employees on the basis of pregnancy.
Under both federal and Wisconsin state laws, workers must be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week. There are a few industries or professions that are exempt from the right to overtime, but the majority of workers here in Wisconsin have a right to time and a half if they are putting in 40-plus hours on the job.
Back in August we discussed the Justice Department's decision to appoint a whistle-blower ombudsman to help ensure that whistle-blower violations in the government are well investigated, and now a bill is before President Barack Obama that would enhance whistle-blower protections further.
A claimant may file an application for Social Security Disability benefits at any time after their disability begins, but the longer the claimant waits to file, the harder it can be to secure benefits. With the help of an attorney however, that process becomes much easier and the likelihood of success increases.
In April, 2010, a 62-year-old Wisconsin woman was fired from Computer Systems, LLC, in Milwaukee. The woman had worked loyally for the company for 38 years before she was suddenly replaced by a younger employee who she had just finished training. Last month, the now defunct computer company settled an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the former employee for $32,500.
Ask any Milwaukee family and they will tell you having a child is not an easy endeavor. Cravings to childbirth are just the beginning. After bringing the little bundle of joy home families face numerous challenges both in and outside the home.
Earlier this fall in this Wisconsin employment law blog, we discussed a massive False Claims Act case in which a whistle-blower was awarded $104 million for his role in bringing a company to justice. The man was a former employee of UBS bank and he helped the government uncover the bank's practice of helping wealthy clients skirt taxes. While this may be the largest whistle-blower award in history, things did not end perfectly for the whistle-blower.