They worked from Milwaukee to Miami and from Memphis to Mesa to Minneapolis and beyond. Au pairs worked in homes across the U.S., providing affordable child care, as well as cooking, cleaning, shopping and other household chores.
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.
In today's economy, many workers are concerned about job security. However, when an illness arises in a family, a worker can be forced to take unpaid leave leaving them concerned about having a job to return to. A recent article published about unpaid leave and the need for changes in the system could be relevant for Wisconsin workers in a similar situation.
Women and minorities recognized Equal Pay Day in Milwaukee on Tuesday by holding a demonstration at the Equal Rights Division, according to a local news report. The group used the occasion to call for the strengthening of existing anti-discrimination employment laws, and State Rep. Chris Sinicki and Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson spoke at the event.
One of the most common types of employment rights violations is that which has to do with wages. As we discussed in a post last week, wage theft is a significant problem in many workplaces, and it occurs in many ways. One way that a Wisconsin employer might violate the rights of a worker is by failing to pay the proper overtime wage as required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Many Wisconsin residents may not be aware that overtime wages are governed by the federal government, not their individual employers. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, full-time and non-exempt workers must typically be paid at least time-and-one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40.
Many employment disputes arise not because there are grey issues with employment law itself, but because it is difficult at times to enforce these laws. For example, discrimination in just about any shape or form is illegal in the workplace. This is a very clear cut issue, however, workers do not always know their rights when it comes to discrimination and even when they do it can be difficult to prove their cases and remedy them.
Last week we wrote about whistle-blower law and about how workers who report the illegal or fraudulent practices of their employers generally cannot be retaliated against for doing so. There are other types of situations in which employers cannot respond to an employee's complaint by firing him or her as well, and one such case that involved a Wisconsin man just wrapped up.
Under both federal and Wisconsin state laws, workers must be paid one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week. There are a few industries or professions that are exempt from the right to overtime, but the majority of workers here in Wisconsin have a right to time and a half if they are putting in 40-plus hours on the job.
Ever since the second presidential debate took place earlier this week, there has been a lot of buzz about the gender wage gap in America. As anyone who watched the debate knows, an audience member in the town hall asked the presidential candidates what they plan to do to enforce the right to fair pay if elected.