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Wage and Hour Laws Archives

Wisconsin's breast-feeding moms targets of discrimination at work?

Wisconsin women are protected from pregnancy discrimination under several federal employment laws. In fact, 25 years ago Congress amended Title VII in order to outlaw pregnancy discrimination. Not quite as long ago, back in 1993, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act required employers to provide employees with unpaid leave for certain medical and family reasons, including childbirth. And, finally, in 2010 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide break time for mothers to pump breast milk for a nursing child.

Wal-Mart, DOL resolve overtime pay complaint for $4.8M

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is having a tough time right now. Exxon-Mobile just bumped the mega-retailer from first place on the Fortune 500 list of revenue-generating U.S. companies. The company is facing allegations of bribing foreign government officials and may soon be hit with a related shareholder suit. With all of this, corporate leaders must have been relieved last week to settle a wage and hour claim brought by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Women in the workplace: Rosie the Riveter is spinning in her grave p2

Last month, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that repealed the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act. The law had allowed employees that have experienced compensation discrimination based on their protected status to pursue damage claims in state courts. Women especially were dismayed; the wage gap between men and women is very real.

Women in the workplace: Rosie the Riveter is spinning in her grave

During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of women at work, women doing men's work for the good of society. Things changed after the war, and women have been playing catch-up ever since -- especially when it comes to wages.

Should a Religious Institution be Bound by Its Written Employment Contract?

Should a religious institution be bound by its written employment contract? I argued to the Wisconsin Supreme Court (WSC) yesterday that our client's religious employer should be bound by the terms of a written one-year employment contract, just like any other employer. Our client was a ministerial employee of a church who was fired for reasons other than cause in violation of the "for cause" provision in her employment agreement. The WSC acknowledged during oral argument that this will be a difficult case to decide given the constitutional protection that is afforded to churches against state interference with internal church doctrine. The issue in our case is whether such constitutional protection allows a church to avoid having a civil court enforce a contract that the church voluntarily entered with its employee. The WSC will issue a written opinion in the next 6 months which will decide for the first time whether Wisconsin courts will be permitted to make neutral inquiry into a church's decision to fire a ministerial employee in breach of a written contract.

New ERISA rule allows investment advice for retirement plans

We know of many people who are enrolled in their employer-sponsored 401(k) type plan but who are completely at sea when it comes to allocating their retirement savings. They are grateful for the benefit, but they often end up basing their investment decision on well-intentioned but arbitrary criteria. The fund is based here in Milwaukee? Check. My brother-in-law mentioned this fund over dinner one night? Check.

FLSA requires all hours work to be paid even during daylight savings time

Last Sunday we all turned our clocks back one hour for daylight savings time. Many employees in Wisconsin who worked the third-shift in manufacturing or worked a night shift as a waiter or waitress worked the extra hour even though their schedule may not have reflected it. Employees and nefarious employers should be aware that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires all hours worked to be paid even during daylight savings time.

Public divided over proposed FLSA regulations on youth and ag work

Agriculture is an important industry in Wisconsin, and proposed regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act would limit the ability of youth to work in agriculture. As a result the public is divided over the potential safety benefits the regulations could bring and some family farm practicalities the proposed regulations may impede.

Unpaid interns sue Fox Searchlight Pictures under FLSA

Enforcing your employment rights as an unpaid intern can be a sticky issue. Two unpaid interns who provided their services to Fox Searchlight Pictures during the production of the movie "The Black Swan" have filed a lawsuit against the film company for failing to pay minimum wage and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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