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Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

Bad taste: Snack-maker accused of religious discrimination

At this time of year, one of the best ways to pass an afternoon is to hunker down in front of the TV to watch a Milwaukee Brewers or Packers game, with the remote in one hand and snacks within easy reach of the other. It's not uncommon for sports fan fingers across Wisconsin to be coated with the tasty dust of Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos and Ruffles potato chips - all Frito Lay products.

Frito Lay management is likely more focused on its legal woes than sporting events, however, after the iconic snack-food company was named in a religious discrimination lawsuitv.

Walmart settles gender discrimination lawsuit for $20 million

The biggest of all U.S. companies has more than a dozen of its Supercenter stores in Milwaukee and around the metro area. Each area Walmart effectively functions as a clothing store, hardware store, shoe store, sporting goods store and grocery store.

The giant retail chain recently reached an agreement to settle a sex-based hiring discrimination lawsuit for $20 million. As part of the settlement, Walmart agreed to stop using a pre-employment physical ability test (PAT).

IBM accused of age discrimination by former employee

Once America's preeminent high-tech company, IBM saw its decades-long dominance eclipsed by companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, among others. A few years ago, Big Blue began an aggressive campaign to regain its position and profits by remaking itself as a leaner, younger firm ready to take on the competition.

According to a recent lawsuit filed by a former employee, IBM's pursuit of youth included unlawful age discrimination.

Unhappy meal: McDonald's is served another racial discrimination lawsuit

After George Floyd's death while in police custody, McDonald's issued a silent tribute video that said Floyd "was one of us," as were other victims of racial violence. The world's largest fast food chain said it saw those victims in its customers, in its employees and in its franchisees, too.

A group of 52 Black former franchise owners has issued a scathing rebuttal in the form of a billion-dollar lawsuit alleging that systematic racial discrimination by the company placed their restaurants in "substandard locations" that limited revenues and drove up costs.

Are you eligible for paid pandemic-related sick leave?

The avalanche of news about the pandemic and fierce political disagreements over how to best deal with it has sometimes resulted in substantive news items being ignored by Milwaukee news outlets.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is an important piece of legislation receiving too little attention. Made law earlier this year, the FFCRA requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide workers with emergency paid sick leave or with expanded FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave for certain reasons involving Covid-19.

Americans with Disabilities Act marked its 30th year

July marked the 30th anniversary of one of country’s landmark civil rights laws that sometimes get overlooked, but not if you are a disabled person. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was signed into law that year by President George H.W. Bush on July 26. Its implementation brought sweeping changes.

The ADA prohibits discrimination based on disability. As a result, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to all disabled workers. In addition, the law requires public places be accessible to the disabled. The ADA represented another law in America’s steps toward overcoming workplace discrimination.

Clear messages sent on sexual harassment tolerance

Attitudes about sexual harassment are changing across the U.S. From Wisconsin polling places to the boardroom of one of America's biggest corporations, it's clear that tolerance of sexual harassment in the workplace is lower than ever.

Last week, Green Bay Rep. Staush Gruszynski lost his bid for re-election in a landslide after allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed a staffer at a bar.

UAW leader accused of sexual harassment resigns

The United Auto Workers (UAW) has for decades represented workers in labor negotiations in the auto industry, but the union also represents workers in agriculture, aerospace and publishing, among other industries. Here in Milwaukee, a UAW local represents brewery workers.

The union that has long railed against industry management has been rocked by allegations that members of its own management have engaged in sexual harassment and retaliation.

Forbes: as economy slows, age discrimination accelerates

In a recent column for Forbes, Wecruitr CEO Jack Kelly points out that in the ongoing pandemic-fueled recession, some employers are engaging in age discrimination by firing experienced employees to replace them with younger, cheaper workers.

Kelly notes that even "before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were fast-growing trends that greatly endangered the careers of older workers." The motivation, of course, is to cut costs by cutting relatively well-compensated workers in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

After 30 years, the ADA is still protecting disabled workers' rights

Few pieces of legislation are remembered decades after enactment. Along with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Clean Air Act of 1970 and 1965's Voting Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is remembered for changing the course of history.

Signed on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, the ADA transformed America by requiring schools, government buildings and businesses to have ramps, elevators, designated parking, curb cuts and more that enable people with disabilities to have access to places, services and goods available to everyone else.

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