A major challenge for many Wisconsin residents is to strike a comfortable balance between work life and home life. Most people who work and have families want to spend enough time on the job to build a successful career, as well as fit in a significant amount of time at home with loved ones. Some employers are more accommodating than others in allowing their workers to find this sweet spot.
Although it has been illegal for employers to discriminate against workers and applicants with disabilities for more than 20 years in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S., a recent news report suggests that this type of discrimination is still very common. Only 18 percent of Americans with disabilities of working age are currently employed, and this is actually down 2 percent from 2009. According to the Associated Press, these numbers have been relatively stable since the Americans with Disabilities Act outlawed discrimination in employment in 1990.
When people in Wisconsin sign up for long-term disability insurance coverage they expect the terms of the policy to be honored. Unfortunately, all too often once someone becomes disabled due to an illness or injury an employer or an insurer fail to hold up its side of the deal. When this does happen, the disability claimant does not have to give up without a fight.
As many people in Wisconsin are aware, earlier in March the federal government announced budget cuts across the board. This has been called the "sequester," and it has hit a number of areas of government--from education to agriculture to the criminal justice system.
Many Wisconsin residents may have felt a bit relieved when last week's U.S. jobs report showed the unemployment rate dipping in February to its lowest point since December 2008. As the economy continues to mend, many people who have long been out of work may be able to finally find employment.
When an employee in Wisconsin, or anywhere in the country, has knowledge that his or her employer is engaging in illegal activities, the employee has the right to become a whistle-blower by alerting the authorities. In many cases, whistle-blowers are then entitled to a portion of any resulting financial settlement. However, it is risky to become a whistle-blower, because the employer might choose to illegally retaliate by terminating the person from the company. This is why it is important to seek legal counsel when filing a whistle-blower claim.
Almost every state in the U.S., including Wisconsin, is an at-will employment state. This means that absent any federal or state law violation, either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship for any reason at any time. To add a bit more definition to employment relationships, many employers use employment contracts. However, contracts are only enforceable if their contents do not violate any laws.
Many Milwaukee area residents participate in their employers' long-term disability plans as a part of standard employee benefits packages. Other Wisconsin residents may have purchased their own disability benefits policies from insurance companies. People invest in such insurance coverage because it is important to have a lifeline in place should one become disabled before retirement.
In 1978, the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in employment and in other areas. Nonetheless, 35 years later expectant women in Wisconsin are sometimes docked pay because of their pregnancy; they are refused promotions due to pregnancy; and they are sometimes even fired for requesting maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In other cases, women are sometimes refused employment because of the possibility that they may become pregnant.