It is the nation's largest retailer and employer. It is, of course, Wal-Mart. Like every other corner of America, the Milwaukee area has several of the retail giant's stores. Because it is the biggest, it's a good idea to watch how Wal-Mart treats its employees. The company recently settled a legal claim filed by two former workers who accused it of several employment law violations, including racial discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) infractions and retaliation. The former employees also said a hostile work environment permeated the store.
"No more babies." That is what the president of a company allegedly said to employees during a staff meeting. The part-owner of a plant nursery also reportedly told female employees at the meeting that the next person to get pregnant should simply stay at home and consider herself fired. As you know, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is prohibited by the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.
Wisconsin workers who are employed by a company that has at least 50 employees working at least 20 weeks out of the current or past calendar year, or who work for a public agency, are entitled to certain benefits related to serious family or medical needs. These benefits are provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA. The federal law requires that employers allow workers to take unpaid leave to address certain medical or family matters, without risk of losing their job as a result.
Many Wisconsin employers are obligated by law to provide employees with 12-weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. While people tend to associate the Family Medical Leave Act with maternity leave, it also applies to employees who have serious health conditions that make them unable to work, and to employees who must care for a very ill spouse or child.