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October 2014 Archives

Understanding religious discrimination

Employees in Wisconsin may benefit from learning more about the religious discrimination as defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This type of discrimination occurs when an applicant or employee is untreated unfavorably or unfairly because of his or her religion. There are federal laws designed to protect an individual's moral and ethical beliefs and members who are apart of renowned organized religious sects, such as Islam, Christianity or Judaism.

Q&A: How do I qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

The criteria for obtaining Social Security Disability benefits are the same in Wisconsin as they are elsewhere in the country. The first requirement is that an applicant must have sufficient work history before they are eligible to receive benefits. In certain circumstances, an applicant may receive benefits under a parent's Social Security record.

Social Security benefits increase for 2015

November 2013 image.jpgSocial Security, Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits will increase in 2015 due to a 1.7% Cost of Living Adjustment.  This translates to a monthly increase of approximately $12-19 for SSI and SSDI recipients.  Individuals collecting SSI will see the increase begin on December 31, 2014 while other Social Security recipients will see the increase in their January 2015 checks.  

Features of disability insurance in Wisconsin

When an individual cannot work due to a disability, Long-Term Disability Insurance can help by replacing some of the income that would have been earned over an extended time. People whose employers have paid a monthly premium are covered by LTD.

Understanding the rights of a pregnant worker

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to fire or withhold benefits from an employee due to a pregnancy. The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act also forbids an employer from discriminating against a pregnant employee in regards to pay, job assignments or training opportunities. If an employee is unable to perform job duties temporarily due to a pregnancy, the employer is obligated to treat that employee like any other temporarily disabled employee.

What is consider reasonable accommodations under the ADA?

Wisconsin employers must abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This federal law states that reasonable accommodations must be made for employees or applicants who suffer from a disability. An employer may be exempt from this requirement if it would create an undue hardship for the company. Reasonable accommodations are defined as modifications to the workplace that enable an employee to do the job to the best of his or her abilities.

What must be included in an FMLA request?

Employees in Wisconsin who wish to take leave from their jobs might be able to get paid time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act. Not all types of leave are covered nor do they all result in paid leave. Also, employers are not always required to inform their workers if they qualify for medical leave or family leave. Employees who understand the process of and how to provide their employer with notice might be more likely to get the leave they want.

Pension rights at issue in Wisconsin case

The issue of whether pension multipliers can be reduced during active employment without an employee's consent has been making its way through the Wisconsin court system. Both the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and the state Court of Appeals have so far sided against the county and its efforts to reduce pension multipliers agreed upon in an employment contract. The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard this case regarding employment rights on the first of October. One justice has already stated that the case hinges on the wording of relevant statutes and the employment contracts. Another justice has suggested that an agreement between the union and the county trumps the individual's disagreement.

Wisconsin law protects employees from retaliation

The law typically protects state employees from retaliation when they report illegal or unsafe activities. These activities include violating the law, endangering the public, abuse of authority at the state or local level or wasting public funds.

Whistleblower receives $30 million from SEC

Wisconsin workers may be interested in a case involving an unidentified individual who received a $30 million award from the Securities and Exchange Commission under the agency's whistle-blower program. In a statement announcing the award, a spokeswoman for the SEC only said that the person was located outside of the United States. In its statement, the SEC would not name the company or the individual who committed the fraud.

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