The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently closed out its fiscal year, giving observers an opportunity to look back and assess the enforcement areas in which the EEOC was most active over the past 12 months and to consider where it might be going in the next year.
If you drive south of Milwaukee for about 100 miles, you’ll come to the Chicago suburb of Lemont. The city is home to a Citgo Petroleum Corporation crude oil refinery that was recently named in a disability discrimination lawsuit.
The state Supreme Court has sided with employers in a critical dispute over disability discrimination. Charles Carlson alleged in his lawsuit that his employer, Wisconsin Bell, violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) when it fired him. The state Supreme Court recently decided that the company did not violate the law when it fired Carlson for conduct that broke workplace rules, even though Bell knew Carlson had bipolar disorder.
It has been 28 years since Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. The landmark legislation pushed businesses to recognize that people with disabilities have rights, too.
It has been slightly more than 27 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Despite the years, myths about the landmark legislation persist among employers, employees and others.
In popular culture, obesity is often portrayed as a failure of will power. The stereotype is that an obese person is simply someone not strong enough to deny themselves sweets, butter, dairy products and other high-calorie foods.
The problems began in the summer of 2012 when inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration showed up for an unannounced inspection of a mail sorting business. They found asbestos-related violations that resulted in a fine of more than $8,000. Management apparently suspected that a handyman-machine operator there had filed a report with the federal agency and triggered the investigation.
If you leave Milwaukee at noon and drove southwest until dinner time or so, you would arrive in East St. Louis. That is where a U.S. District Court recently affirmed a judgment that Madison County must pay more than $650,000 in damages in a disability discrimination case.
There are a number of Wal-Mart stores in and around the Milwaukee metro area. The nation's largest retailer was recently named in a proposed class action lawsuit filed by two former employees alleging the chain of treating pregnant workers as “second-class citizens.” The pregnant workers were denied requests to climbing on ladders, heavy lifting and other potentially risky tasks.
If you have about 10 hours of free time and a tankful of gas, you could drive west of Milwaukee on a tour of the upper Midwest. You would get to see much of central Wisconsin and southern Minnesota before arriving in South Dakota. The Mount Rushmore State is the site of an interesting employment law dispute between a former employee and the state department that enforces employment law in South Dakota.