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Milwaukee Wisconsin Employment Law Blog

Over the hill and on the job

All of us, if we are lucky enough, will live long enough to face discrimination because of our age. And while we like to make fun of the inevitable with phrases like "just having a senior moment" -because the alternative (death) is ostensibly worse - ageism in the workplace is no laughing matter.

What is ageism? 

Google listens to protesters, alters sexual harassment policies

It wasn’t that long ago that many corporations believed sexual harassment was not an issue deserving of much more than occasional lip service. But times have changed and many companies are trying to get ahead of the problem and resolve complaints quickly and to the satisfaction of complainants before a sexual harassment lawsuit is filed.

Google recently said it is changing the way it processes sexual harassment complaints after 20,000 Google employees walked off to protest its past responses.

Firefighter gets $11 million for gender discrimination, retaliation

Just south of Chicago sits Country Club Hills, a modest suburb of about 16,000 residents. A jury there recently awarded a firefighter more than $11 million in a gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.

The firefighter and her employment law attorney successfully argued that she had been retaliated against for reporting workplace misbehavior and passed over for promotion. She also alleged that co-workers frequently viewed pornography at the fire station.

Employers and employees disagree on workplace harassment

The national conversation regarding sexual harassment shows no sign of slowing down. Since multiple women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of assault, workplace harassment has become a hot-button issue. The dialogue has prompted many employees to speak out about their experiences with harassment, and encouraged many employers to crack down on it.

However, employers and their workers seem to have very different ideas on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace. New studies suggest that employers have a much rosier view of their anti-harassment efforts than employees do.

Suburban Chicago fire department rocked by sexual harassment suit

A short drive north of Chicago brings you to Lincolnwood. The Cook County town is small enough to outsource its fire department with an area firm that provides fire and medical services.

The suburb’s contracted fire department was recently rocked by news that three senior members have been named in a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a former firefighter who claims that he was fired after he reported workplace drug abuse and sexual harassment of the department’s only woman.

Chicago restaurant chain settles sexual harassment lawsuit

Rosebud Restaurants operates several Italian eateries in Chicago, but the chain also sells its baked lasagna, Pappardelle Marinara, wild mushroom ravioli and linguini with clams at outlets in the suburbs as well.

According to news sources, the Chicago-based firm recently agreed to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit for $160,000. The firm was accused of violating federal civil rights laws when two female employees were sexually harassed and one of them was fired after complaining to supervisors about workplace harassment.

“Undeniable” impact of #MeToo on America

The headlines in Milwaukee news outlets revealed a pattern of misconduct in some of the most desirable workplaces in America: in politics, media, technology, Hollywood and more. But behind the #MeToo headlines were women and men in less elevated jobs and industries – stores, hospitals, universities, factories and others – where sexual harassment was just as rampant as it was in the places reporters were interested in.

The #MeToo movement has helped to start a change in America, according to data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC, which investigates allegations of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination, says in the year since #MeToo began, it received about 7,500 harassment complaints, up 12 percent over the previous year.

Can you prove retaliation in an employ at-will state?

Do you believe your employer has unlawfully demoted, terminated or otherwise retaliated against you?

If you have been retaliated against for exercising your employment law rights, such as making a harassment or discrimination complaint, read on to learn how you can prove your claim in an at-will employment state.

Sexual harassment disaster at state disaster agency

As regular readers of our Milwaukee employment blog know, our nation is paying more attention to sexual harassment in the workplace than ever before. We read recently of an ongoing scandal not far from us.

A state agency that is supposed to help residents in times of disaster is itself something of a disaster. A high-ranking official at Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security has been accused of sexual harassment and retaliation and an official who reported the misconduct is claims he was fired for doing the right thing.

Part II: sexual harassment saga unfolds at University of Wisconsin

Regular readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog undoubtedly recall that in our previous blog post, we touched on the scandal unfolding at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Five women have come forward to publicly accuse the husband of Chancellor Beverly Kopper of sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact.

Three of those accusing Pete Hill are former or current university employees and two are former students, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

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