As President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, all Americans deserve and are entitled to a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. U.S. labor laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act help ensure that U.S. workers earn at least minimum wage and are compensated for overtime hours. Additionally, several other laws help protect the rights of workers with regard to pay, time off and other benefits. However, in order to reap the benefits of most of these employment and labor laws, a worker must be designated as a full or part-time employee.
Should a woman be treated differently in the workplace after announcing a pregnancy? The answer, of course, is no. Unfortunately, women are discriminated in the workplace for pregnancy all too frequently. As their pregnancy progresses, women in Wisconsin have the right to reasonable accommodation in the workplace and should not be subjected to pregnancy discrimination.
Those who ventured out shopping in the early morning hours today, or late night hours Thursday, may have run into a picket line or protest at their local Walmart. In fact, even people in Milwaukee who opted to stay at home and skip the Black Friday frenzy may have received wind about the scattered strikes and demonstrations outside of the some of the big box retailer's stores. It has now been reported that the protests did not affect Walmart's bottom line much, however the media coverage of the events has shined a spotlight on several employment law issues.
Here in Wisconsin, and throughout the country, when an employee has knowledge that his or her employer is doing something illegal, the employee is in a very difficult position. The honorable and responsible thing to do is often to report the illegal activity by alerting authorities, but the whistle-blower might then risk being fired or retaliated against by the employer. Of course, it is illegal for the employer to respond in that way, but that does not always stop them.
A 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel handed down a decision recently that may continue the court's tougher stance on the Americans with Disabilities Act -- if the full court agrees with the decision. The panel stood by the court's precedent, ruling that the ADA does not require an employer to reassign a worker to a vacant position if a disability renders him incapable of continuing in his current position. The 7th Circuit includes Wisconsin, so this decision is binding here.
Recently, the United States Department of Labor nodded its head to the fact that children are often taken care of by adults who may not be their biological parents. Now no matter their relation, caregivers who live in the same household as the child may take time off to care for a sick child or tend to an infant.