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Employment Law Archives

Hostile-environment sexual harassment is subject of EEOC lawsuit

Some Wisconsin residents might not be aware that sexual harassment in any form is not only impolite and in poor taste, but it is also very clearly illegal. When it comes to employment, sexual harassment is generally divided into two categories: quid pro quo and hostile environment.

Are Wisconsin employers going to do away with overtime pay?

In 1938, the federal government enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act in order to protect workers in Wisconsin and throughout the union from being exploited by their employers. One important provision of this law limits the work week to 40 hours. Workers must be compensated for any hours they work over 40 with time-and-a-half their regular rate of pay. By the mid-1980s, workers in the public sector were given the option of selecting overtime pay or paid time off--meaning they could either take extra wages for their extra hours or bank one and a half vacation hours for every hour over 40 that they work.

Chris Kluwe's release spurs employment law questions

Wisconsin football fans know that the Minnesota Vikings released punter Chris Kluwe earlier this week although he had a year left on his contract. While the Vikings' management have claimed that Kluwe was cut so that the team could add a more competitive punter to its roster, a number of people--even the state's governor--have questioned whether the fact that Kluwe has become an outspoken gay rights advocate had anything to do with the decision.

In Wisconsin, do you need to have a job to get a job?

Many Wisconsin residents may have felt a bit relieved when last week's U.S. jobs report showed the unemployment rate dipping in February to its lowest point since December 2008. As the economy continues to mend, many people who have long been out of work may be able to finally find employment.

Can you be fired for being pregnant and unmarried?

Almost every state in the U.S., including Wisconsin, is an at-will employment state. This means that absent any federal or state law violation, either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship for any reason at any time. To add a bit more definition to employment relationships, many employers use employment contracts. However, contracts are only enforceable if their contents do not violate any laws.

Childcare company settles pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

In 1978, the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in employment and in other areas. Nonetheless, 35 years later expectant women in Wisconsin are sometimes docked pay because of their pregnancy; they are refused promotions due to pregnancy; and they are sometimes even fired for requesting maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In other cases, women are sometimes refused employment because of the possibility that they may become pregnant.

BASF Corporation to Pay $500,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit Against Cognis

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged - and the judge later held - that Cognis retaliated against a longtime employee at its Kankakee, Ill., facility in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Cognis had required that employee, as a condition of his continued employment, to sign a "last-chance agreement."  That agreement prohibited the employee from filing charges of discrimination with the EEOC, even for events that had yet to occur.  When the employee informed Cognis that he did not want to be bound by the agreement out of concern about its effect on his civil rights, Cognis fired him.

Merrill, Wisconsin, restaurant settles sexual harassment lawsuit

When employers learn of sexual harassment in their places of employment, they are bound by federal law to immediately take an effective action to put a stop to it. When employers fail to respond appropriately to reports of sexual harassment, they can be held accountable and they may be liable for damages to victims.

Are Wisconsin employers discriminating against domestic violence victims?

When people hear the word "discrimination," they likely think about prejudices related to things like race, gender, nationality or sexuality. A lesser-known form of employment discrimination may be on the rise.

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