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Are you experiencing bullying or discrimination at work?

Your workplace should be an environment in which you can fulfill your job duties with comfort. Other employees and supervisors alike should support you and not cause you unnecessary stress. Unfortunately, not every workplace is a positive environment. 

Bullying and discrimination are common employment issues. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, approximately 19 percent of U.S. workers are victims of bullying at their jobs. If you deal with this kind of behavior at your job, it may make it difficult for you to complete your tasks. However, discriminatory and belittling behavior is not always obvious. Sometimes, it is subtle. Here are a few red flags that you may be a victim of bullying at work.

Dealing with a stressful work environment

Of all the activities that people participate in, working is the activity that most people participate in the most. Therefore, having a positive, enjoyable work environment is important.

For some positions or work environments, stress may be common. However, there are certain things one may do to reduce stress in the workplace.

Teacher pursues lawsuit for employment law violation

Wisconsin teachers generally go into the profession because of a passion for children and teaching. Few would expect to be penalized for having a child of their own, but one out-of-state teacher claims this is exactly what happened to her. In a wrongful termination suit, she claims that her former boss violated employment law.

The woman taught at a private Catholic school when she became pregnant. Apparently eager to be upfront with her employer, she spoke with her principal to inform her of the pregnancy. The teacher claims that she told the principal that she and her boyfriend had timed the pregnancy so that she would give birth during the summer break and thus not have to take any time off from work. Rather than be pleased, the principal supposedly told the woman that her pregnancy was an issue.

Subway franchise owner fined for employment law violation

In certain industries, teenage employees comprise a large and valuable portion of the workforce. This often includes jobs in retail or fast food, where teens can work after school or on the weekends to earn some extra cash and learn important on-the-job skills. Sadly, Wisconsin employers do not always respect the fact that teenagers are still children, and violations of employment law are perhaps not as uncommon as most would like to think.

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division recently slapped Shadowlake Enterprises -- a company that operates four Subway franchise locations in Wisconsin -- with a rather hefty fine for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ordered to pay $47,657, the company allegedly committed both record keeping and child labor violations. As part of its penalty, Shadowlake agreed to move to a computerized scheduling system.

Crafting a noncompete agreement enforceable under employment law

Business owners spend months and years developing and growing their businesses, and they want to make sure that their interests are protected. Employee contracts are a good solution to these concerns as they generally provide important protections for both employers and their workers. A well-worded noncompete clause can also ensure that sensitive business interests are safeguarded. However, it is important to make sure that these agreements fall within the confines of Wisconsin employment law.

There are three main requirements for noncompete agreements to be considered valid. For the first requirement, an employee has to receive something in exchange for promising to not work for a competitor. When signed before the start of employment, then the job itself is usually considered to be sufficient. If a boss wants an already established employee to sign an agreement, then something like a bonus or a promotion might be a more appropriate offer of value.

GM supervisors allege racial workplace discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and yet workers across the state of Wisconsin continue to face unfair working conditions because of something they have no control over -- the color of their skin. General Motors recently came under fire for allegedly allowing rampant workplace discrimination in at least one of its manufacturing plants. The nine black workers suing the company claim that they were subjected to ongoing acts of racial discrimination.

Two of the men involved in the lawsuit were supervisors at the plant in question. They outlined instances of repeated racial harassment, citing the use of discriminatory language from their peers and subordinates. According to their claims, the white employees they were supervising frequently ignored them. The lawsuit also asserts that white workers wore clothing with hate images underneath their company uniforms.

Former Blizzard employee describes workplace discrimination

Being mistreated in the workplace can involve so much more than losing out on important opportunities and promotions. While these actions have a tangible, economic impact that is extremely difficult for victims, many also suffer significant emotional damage from acts of workplace discrimination. When a worker in Wisconsin is adversely impacted by such actions, pursuing compensation might not only be helpful, it could also be necessary to realizing a full financial and emotional recovery.

Activision Blizzard is a gaming company responsible for popular titles such as "Overwatch." Although the company recently created a LGBTQ+ character for that game, one former employee says the company is much less welcoming and accepting in real life. According to his claims, he was almost driven to suicide because of the frequent racial discrimination he suffered when working for Blizzard.

Can a physical alteration lead to wrongful termination?

Many employees expect their employers to take reasonable actions to keep them safe on the job, especially when interacting with customers/clients. Keeping the premises safe and secure from hazardous conditions and individuals is not as easy as it may seem, especially when working with the public. 

Though there are rules, policies and expectations in place for employee conduct, especially fighting, hitting and mistreating coworkers and customers, what governs the actions of employers when self-defense or fighting back is necessary? You were doing your job when you were suddenly let go for doing what seemed like common sense. Now, you wonder if you have a wrongful termination claim. 

6 signs you may be the victim of national origin discrimination

Like most residents of Milwaukee, you work hard every day. While providing for yourself and your family is likely your top concern, you do not want to worry about workplace discrimination. After all, making ends meet is hard enough when working conditions are fair. 

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees in the United States from discrimination due to their national origin. That is, your employer may not treat you differently because of the country of your birth, your accent or your cultural traits. Here are six signs you may be the victim of national origin discrimination at work. 

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