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March 2015 Archives

Former J.C. Penney worker files whistleblower claim

Wisconsin residents might be interested to learn about a new lawsuit that was filed against the national retail chain J.C. Penney, Inc., by a former employee. The plaintiff in the lawsuit claims that he was retaliated against after noticing activities that he thought were fleecing customers and subsequently making his allegations public . His claim was filed in Florida under the Private Whistleblower Act.

Supreme Court rules on pregnancy discrimination case

In a decision that could have a significant impact on employees in Wisconsin and around the country, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 25 that a worker who claimed that she had been the victim of discrimination by her employer on account of her pregnancy was entitled to have her case reheard. In its 6-3 decision remanding the case to the lower court for retrial, the court indicated that the plaintiff should have another opportunity to demonstrate that the actions of her employer were in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

The ADA and the rights of disabled employees

Wisconsin individuals who are disabled may wonder what rights they have under the Americans with Disabilities Act when they seek employment. This act provides protection to individuals who suffer from a substantial disability that significantly impairs their life.

FMLA definition now includes same-sex couples

People in Wisconsin might be interested to learn of the recent Department of Labor announcement that same-sex married couples will now enjoy the same protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act as do heterosexual couples. With the update in guidelines, same-sex couples will now be able to take leave to care for a sick spouse, including those living in states that do not recognize the institution.

Who is covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

Wisconsin employees may be subject to the protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act depending on whether or not their employers are covered enterprises. A company may be considered to be a covered enterprise if it has $500,000 or more in gross revenue annually. It may also be considered a covered enterprise if it engages in activities that care for the sick or those of an old age.

The benefits of whistleblowing

Employees in Wisconsin may have heard that on March 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it would be issuing the first whistle-blower payout to a former company officer. The individual received a payout that ranges from $475,000 to $575,000 for becoming a whistle-blower. This particular case also involved an exception to the standard rules that define whistle-blower laws.

Whistleblower protection for truck drivers and other workers

People in Wisconsin who are employed as commercial motor carrier workers are sometimes asked to drive trucks in violation of federal safety regulations. The carrier may ask that an employee drive beyond allowable hours or drive a truck that has problems that place both the driver and others on the road at risk.

USPS to pay damages to whistleblower

Wisconsin readers who follow workplace issues may be interested in a recent decision regarding retaliation against a whistleblower. A U.S. Postal Service worker will receive nearly $230,000 in damages for retaliation that he suffered after advising a co-worker to report health concerns to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The worker filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA after being subjected to a hostile work environment.

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