Apple CEO Tim Cook once told the U.S. Congress that adoption of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was not only the right thing to do, but it would also foster and spur the creativity that drives his business. ENDA would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The imposition of arbitration on the process of resolving employment claims continues. The most recent example comes from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, which issued a decision making it easier for employers to mandate arbitration for worker claims that employment law has been violated.
Wisconsin residents may be interested in learning that the National Labor Relations Board found merit in the charges filed against WeWork by a plaintiff who was fired from her position at the office space sharing company. The employee also has a pending civil suit that she filed in California.
Employees in Wisconsin should be aware of employment laws so that they know whether an employer might be taking advantage of them. An employer might be doing so out of an effort to save money or because of ignorance of the law, but an employee may still file a lawsuit against an employer who violates those rights.
Telecommuting is becoming more and more popular in Wisconsin and around the country. The number of Americans who telecommute has more than doubled since 2005, and this rate of growth is expected to accelerate in the years ahead as so-called Millennials become a more dominant part of the workforce. Allowing employees to work from home provides employers with a number of benefits, but it can sometimes be challenging for them to comply with federal hour and wage laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act.
If a worker is jointly employed by two or more companies, they may both be responsible for compliance with FMLA requirements. Joint employment occurs when employers benefit from the services of an individual and are related to each other. Typically, the employers will have an arrangement to share the services of a single worker and they will share common control of that worker.
Wisconsin employees may be interested to learn that a federal appellate court has ruled that a human resources director could be considered an employer and thus held responsible for violating the Family and Medical Leave Act. A payroll administrator who had been at a company for five years submitted a FMLA request to care for her teenage son who had just been diagnosed with diabetes. She returned to work after 12 days and at the end of that same month, she submitted paperwork supporting her need for the FMLA leave.
Workplace discrimination and harassment ultimately have many negative effects that can hurt morale and waste time, and these behaviors might cost billions of dollars annually. Employers in Wisconsin should consider taking steps to stop harassment before it starts, and workers can also educate themselves about appropriate behavior while on the job.
Many workers in Wisconsin are sexually harassed by their employers, supervisors or coworkers. Workplace sexual harassment can take many different forms, and it can range from inappropriate comments to physical assault. Other forms of workplace sexual harassment include displays of pornographic images, sexual jokes, unwelcome touching and requests for sexual favors.
A court in Dane County will hear arguments in a lawsuit brought by the Machinists Local Lodge 1061 claiming that the state's right-to-work law violates constitutional law. The law, signed by Gov. Scott Walker, stopped the requirement that employees in positions represented by private unions pay mandatory dues to a union. Machinists Local Lodge 1061, an affiliate of three labor groups including the International Association of Machinists District 10, asserted in its lawsuit that this new law requires unions to perform unpaid representation of nonunion workers.