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September 2015 Archives

Your right to reasonable accommodations in the workplace

Your disability might make it more difficult for you to perform otherwise easy tasks, but you have learned to adapt, jump hurdles and move forward with your personal development. Being employed in Wisconsin provides a person with a sense of dignity and purpose — especially those with disabilities.

Wages for commission workers

In Wisconsin, many workers, especially in the retail industry, are paid on commission. This means most of their pay is based on how much they sell. While this can be a boon for salespeople with a flashy smile, especially during a swell in the economy. But what happens when employees don’t make enough off of their commissions? These workers still fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and therefore are still due minimum wage and overtime.

What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

In the state of Wisconsin, remaining in compliance with local, state and federal labor laws is very important. These laws protect both the employee and the employer. One of the biggest defenses for equitable work conditions in the nation is the legislation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act was created for the sole purpose of providing workers with jobs that met their needs and following federal standards. All businesses around the country are required to follow this act while governing their employees.

What is “qui tam?”

Qui tam is a segment that is clearly outlined under the False Claims Act. This act is one of the best pieces of whistle-blower protection legislation in the United States. The qui tam segment of the act allows the whistle-blower to sue the wrongdoer in the name of the federal government. The government also reserves to right to join the action or intervene. Some states, including Wisconsin, have passed laws that are very similar to qui tam. 

What is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act?

In 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was passed and made law. This act set minimum standards to be met by pension and health plans that were established by the individual, as well as protection to ensure coverage through these plans. In other words, a person who has or develops a long term disability cannot be denied their benefits due to having that disability. If they are denied benefits, the employer or employer’s insurance provider could be held liable and sued.

What is pregnancy discrimination?

Many Wisconsin women who become pregnant find themselves the victim of discrimination in the workplace. This can be due to the pregnancy itself, becoming a new mother or a medical condition that is related to the pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects expectant mothers from unfair treatment when applying for a job or continuing work.

New proposal considered, possibly saving Social Security

Social Security has been in existence for a few generations now and has benefited a good portion of the U.S., including people in Wisconsin. The program has recently seen tough times due to the financial situation of the country. If Social Security is not modernized, funds will be depleted by the year 2016 for the Disability fund and 2033 for the Retirement fund, and citizens will not receive SSD benefits. 

What is the “SOX Act?”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued whistle-blower claims under Section 806 of the Corporate Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, which is part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as the “SOX Act.” This means that there are new, definitive procedures for handling whistle-blower complaints, under the SOX Act.

What breaks are Wisconsin employees guaranteed?

When you are on the clock for extended periods of time in the Wisconsin workplace, having a set time to sit, relax and enjoy a meal can be a boon. Though there are some federal laws regarding breaks, found under the Fair Labor Standards Act, but for the most part this area is left to the state. There are specific regulations from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that ensure employees’ rights in this regard. These regulations are age-specific.

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