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January 2016 Archives

How equal pay helps Wisconsin residents

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 says that workers must be paid equally for equal work regardless of their gender. Workers must also be paid in the same manner for performing substantial equal duties. For instance, if a male worker is paid an hourly rate to perform his duties, a female employee must receive the same rate. It is not acceptable to provide bonuses or other perks to make up for any difference in wages.

Employees can be fired while on medical leave in some cases

Employees in Wisconsin are entitled to take unpaid leave from their jobs if they have a health condition that makes them unable to work. According to the Family and Medical Leave Act, an employee can take an unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks a year. When an employee is planning to take medical leave or on medical leave, their employer is legally barred from preventing them from taking medical leave or punishing them for taking medical leave.

Companies that use temp workers are liable for wage theft

Many businesses in Wisconsin outsource labor by hiring temporary workers through staffing agencies. Because staffing agencies tend to pay low wages and offer no employment benefits, companies can save a lot of money using temp workers instead of full-time employees. Temp workers are employed by the outside temp agency rather than the company they are doing work for, so many companies think that they are not responsible for the way that these workers are treated.

Understanding the Family and Medical Leave Act

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, eligible employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for, among other reasons, health issues. However, employers may wonder if they are obligated to keep the employee in his or her job, especially if the employee was about to be terminated. Wisconsin employers who have questions regarding FMLA may be interested in reading about a recent ruling on this issue by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Whistle-blower lawsuit casts doubt on nicotine patch research

Wisconsin residents who want to stop smoking often rely on nicotine gum or patches to help them cope with intense tobacco cravings. Pharmaceutical companies laud the effectiveness of these products and claim that they have helped millions to overcome nicotine addiction, but a former researcher at a leading drug maker alleges that he was fired from his six-figure job after casting doubt on the veracity of these marketing claims.

Whistleblower protections improved in 2015

Wisconsin professionals and citizens who are considering taking whistleblower action may be interested to learn of multiple developments in 2015 that marked important milestones in how the practice is becoming more acceptable. In November 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published a report through its Office of the Whistleblower revealing that the agency received almost 4,000 tips during the last fiscal year. This was an increase of 8 percent from the previous fiscal year.

FMLA and ADA leave

Workers in Wisconsin may have the right to take leave from work through the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disability Act. Employers whose companies fall under FMLA as well as those with workers who have conditions covered by the ADA are subject to the leave rules.

Wisconsin Supreme Court rules for DOJ in whistle-blower case

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled on a case that could affect certain allegations of whistle-blower protection laws. The case involved a state Department of Justice employee who was reportedly demoted after informing her bosses that sending bodyguards to protect the state's attorney general at the Republican National Convention in 2008 would be in violation of the law.

Enforcement agreement between the FAA and OSHA

People in Wisconsin may want to know about a recent agreement reached by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The agreement, outlined in a memorandum of understanding, defines the roles and duties of each agency in enforcing a federal safety law for air carriers.

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