Am I being treated unfairly or are we just short-staffed?

While having a job allows you to put food on the table, there may be a time when you need to take a day off. You need time off to enjoy your hobbies, family and friends. However, some bosses may deny you rest days under the excuse that they are short-staffed and there is no one to take your place. You can file a complaint against them if they are unfair, but before you act you should know what your rights are as an employee.

Family and Medical Leave

If you have worked for a company for more than 52 weeks, and at least 1,000 hours, then you have the right to take time off if:

  • You are about to give birth or adopt a child
  • You must take care of a family member with a serious health condition
  • You have a serious health condition

Employers in Wisconsin do not have to grant you sick leave if you don’t have a severe sickness or injury.

Meal and rest periods

The law does not require employers to give meal or rest periods if the employee is over 18. But if you do have these breaks, your employer cannot deduct that time from your salary.

One day of rest

You must have one day off for each week that you work. Keep in mind that the law does not require employers to give the rest day every seven days, except for people who work in factories or commercial establishments.


Vacations are not an employee’s right, but if vacation time is included in the employer’s policy, you have the right to use that time. If the employment policy states that you are allowed a certain amount of paid vacation days, and your boss threatens not to pay you while you are gone, you can file a wage claim.


Your boss may tell you to work overtime because they are short-staffed. If this is the case, they must pay you 1-1/2 times your regular rate for all hours that you worked more than your standard 40 hours per week. Extra payments do not apply to specific employees.

Always check your work policies. If your employer is unfair to you, you can file a complaint with the help of a lawyer. Alan C. Olson & Associates has experience holding employers accountable.


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