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Milwaukee Wisconsin Employment Law Blog

What is "clopening"?

Clopening is a neologism or new word used to describe when an employee works until close at night and then has to open the restaurant, store or business the next day. But this can present a challenge to workers. 

The reason for clopening

Could the Fight for $15 campaign bring changes to Wisconsin?

A controversial labor organization has gained traction throughout the United States, and it may soon bring significant changes to Wisconsin’s minimum wage laws. Led by the Service Employees International Union, the Fight for $15 movement has the goal of setting a national minimum wage of at least $15 per hour, or $31,200 per year. The federal minimum wage currently sits at $7.25 an hour, which comes to $15,080 a year.

Proponents of the movement say that a wage lower than $15 per hour prevents workers from providing food, medical care and other necessities for their families. Opponents say that a $15 minimum wage is implausible for business owners and could cost unskilled laborers their jobs.

NFL Network settles sexual harassment lawsuit

Wisconsin has been the home of more than one Super Bowl victory parade. With a new season underway, Green Bay Packers’ fans hope that the celebrations will return to The Badger State.

If it does, several former players will not be part of the NFL Network’s coverage. The network recently announced that it has reached a settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee who said she had been harassed in the workplace by Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp, Donovan McNabb, Ike Taylor and Heath Evans.

Federal housing director facing harassment, retaliation charges

The Federal Housing Finance Agency says on its website that its employees “strive to act with respect for each other” and that they “are committed to the highest ethical and professional standards.” However, according to an employee with the FHFA who made secret recordings of her conversations with director Melvin Watt, those idealistic goals are far from being achieved.

Simone Grimes has leveled sexual harassment, retaliation and equal-pay claims against the agency and Watt. She has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and filed a lawsuit charging the agency with violations of the Equal Pay Act.

Illinois landmark sued for discrimination and retaliation

Out in the western Chicago suburbs sits the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, once one of the most powerful and large particle accelerators in existence. The landmark science facility brags that it brings “the world together to solve the mysteries of matter, energy, space and time.”

However, according to a recent lawsuit, Fermilab violated employment and civil rights law when it denied a promotion to an engineer in retaliation for her complaint that she was subjected to sexual discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

More explosive charges filed against Medical College of Wisconsin

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog will undoubtedly recall that we recently wrote about a doctor who is suing the Medical College of Wisconsin for religious discrimination and retaliation. In a separate matter, the school is being accused by a heart surgeon of wrongful termination and retaliation after he says he blew the whistle on substandard care.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Robert Love claims several doctors at the facility "orchestrated a smear campaign in an attempt to silence" him.

Lawsuit: HR director walked around office sans shirt

In most Milwaukee workplaces, the Human Resources director is more aware today than ever of the types of behaviors that are simply impermissible on the job. At the top of that list is sexual harassment; an issue that has over the past year gotten the media and employer attention it has long deserved.

Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page. We read recently of a male HR director for a mid-sized Texas city who reportedly walked around the office without a shirt on, asking employees to feel his muscles. Two former city employees have filed lawsuits in which they claim they’ve been subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation.

Marquette erred in punishment of professor, court says

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in July that Marquette University breached its contract with a faculty member in reprimanding him for a blog post from 2014. The 4-2 ruling overturned the district court’s prior decision and ordered the university to immediately reinstate the professor following the multi-year legal battle.

Political science professor John McAdams criticized a graduate student instructor in a blog post due to her treatment of a debate about same-sex marriage during a classroom discussion. A student from that course came to McAdams with an audio recording and expressed concerns that the instructor shut down his conservative viewpoints during the debate.

Doctor sues Medical College of Wisconsin for religious discrimination

A Milwaukee business publication is reporting that a former Medical College of Wisconsin professor is claiming that she was disciplined and ultimately fired for arriving late to work after she attended an Islamic religious service. She has filed a religious discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the school.

Dr. Zainab Basir worked for the medical college for nearly 20 years. She alleges that when she arrived late after a Ramadan Eid service, she was disciplined. When she complained about the treatment, she was given a notice of non-renewal of her contract. Her employment ended in February of last year.

More LGBT employees filing discrimination complaints since civil rights expansion

It was “the gayest year in history,” the vice president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign said of 2013 at the end of the year. That year, the U.S. Supreme Court and several states expanded protections for the LGBT community.

Those rights expansions have made a difference since then, according to newly released research. The University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Employment Equity says that more gay, lesbian and transgender workers are fighting workplace discrimination in court  since the 2013 extension of federal anti-discrimination coverage.

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