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Milwaukee Wisconsin Employment Law Blog

Blow the whistle: How to protect yourself when exposing an employer

As an employee, you come across all kinds of information during your daily work. Most of this information is necessary to completing your job and is routine—perhaps even mundane.

What happens, however, if you find evidence of employer misconduct? If you have information regarding unlawful behavior by your employer, Illinois protects you under the Whistleblower Act.

Illinois strengthens sexual harassment, retaliation laws

Regular readers of our Wisconsin and Chicago metro area employment law blog know that news reports on TV and in the papers have often focused in recent months on stories about sexual harassment. Although coverage of the brave people who have come forward has been overwhelmingly positive, one aspect of their stories still receives too little attention: the workplace retaliation workers suffer after reporting sexual harassment.

The state of Illinois has taken steps to tamp down retaliation. In November, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law that strengthened prohibitions on workplace sexual harassment. The measure included a ban on retaliation and made provisions for retaliation claims to be filed under the Illinois Human Rights Act, the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act and the Whistleblower Act.

Sexual harassment details against Wisconsin lawmakers revealed

Though legislators recently released some new details of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination complaints against lawmakers, critics say the release doesn't go far enough.

Legislative leaders say that their desire to protect potential sexual harassment victims and sexual discrimination victims outweighs critics' calls to give the public the full story.

Google this: Gender pay discrimination lawsuit revived

It is very possible that you used Google today to find headlines, scores, recipes or directions. You might have even used the search engine to find our Milwaukee employment law blog.

Millions of Americans use Google every day, but few think about the people behind the search engine. The women who recently filed a revised lawsuit against the search giant hope to change that. They claim that the company routinely pays women less than men in a wide variety of jobs, including program managers, engineers, sales and even its preschool teachers.

2017 in review: #MeToo movement strikes back at sexual harassment

To say that the world went for a wild ride in 2017 is to understate the obvious. On virtually every front -- from politics and media to natural disasters, mass shootings and the solar eclipse -- the United States has seen, heard and felt things that were without precedent.

One of the top stories of the year was the emergence of the #MeToo movement. From Milwaukee to New York and from Los Angeles to Chicago and every place in between, victims of sexual harassment spoke out and named names. Powerful people with wealth and fame fell one after another in 2017 after being outed for harassment, sexual assault and other forms of misconduct in the workplace.

Workplace discrimination suits cost taxpayers over $300K

As more and more workers are being held accountable for their actions of harassment, recent statistics from the federal House Office of Compliance show that the U.S. House of Representatives has paid over $300,000 in disputes over recent years. The workplace discrimination lawsuits in the House have proved to be costly for taxpayers. Individuals in Wisconsin can take heart, knowing that harassment and discrimination continue to be taken seriously in the workplace, and penalties exist for offenders. 

The statistics reference cases from 2008 to 2012. The full details of the settlements were not released, as the report does not reveal the lawmakers' offices involved or name accusers, and it is not made clear whether the lawmaker or a member of the staff were responsible for the action. The total funds paid to workers total more than $342,000. 

Wisconsin 7th Circuit decides on 2 FMLA and ADA leave cases

Some people have questions about an employer's responsibility to offer leave to employees. These questions have recently been decided upon by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court covering Wisconsin and neighboring states. A worker who has exhausted Family and Medical Leave Act time off may request additional leave though the Americans with Disabilities Act, but is the employer required to honor the ADA request? 

Most recently, the court has decided that no, the ADA leave does not have to be granted. If an employee is to be given the additional time off, it should be part of a reasonable accommodation. In two separate cases, the court decided that a multi-month leave of absence does not fall under the scope of reasonable accommodation as defined by the ADA.

The basics of the biometric information privacy act

As technologies grow, so do their uses, especially in the business world. In order to ensure the proper use of technologies, there have been advancements in employment law

The Biometric Information Privacy Act has become quite popular over the last couple of years. There are some basic elements of the act that employees should be aware of.

Former Wisconsin senate aide files workplace discrimination claim

A complaint filed against a former state senator, now acting as a city treasurer, has been settled, although he denies the behavior. The details of the Wisconsin workplace discrimination and harassment claim was recently revealed to the media. In light of the revelations, the man has issued a statement. 

The claim stems from incidents dating back to 2009. The aide, a female, claimed that the senator referred to her skin as not black enough and also commented on her cleavage. She was eventually let go from her position, which she claims was because she complained to human resources about the behavior. The former senator maintains that it was simply due to regular staffing reductions. 

Federal wrongful termination lawsuit settled for $248,000

A lawsuit regarding the unfair firing of a prosecutor was settled in October of this year. The prosecuting attorney alleged misconduct on the part of the district attorney and filed suit in 2013. Finally, after four years, the wrongful termination matter has been settled. Individuals in Wisconsin who are facing similar problems with reporting misconduct may take some encouragement from the recent news story. 

The prosecutor who filed suit alleged that the DA fired him because he refused to contribute to the man's political campaign. He also took issue with the supposed practice of the DA to use violent criminals as informants during investigations. The accused DA maintains that all allegations against him are false. The case was settled in the prosceutor's favor, however. 

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