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Milwaukee Wisconsin Legal Blog

Older workers frequent victims of workplace discrimination

With age comes wisdom, but not necessarily job security. Despite years of skills and experience, workers older than 45 years old still face rampant workplace discrimination in Wisconsin. This is true not only employed workers but also for the unemployed who are seeking work. 

The AARP conducted national survey with adults 45 years and older and found that 61 percent reported experiencing or witnessing age discrimination in their place of employment. Of those, 38 percent said they thought age-related discrimination is commonplace. With workers over the age of 50 predicted to make up 35 percent of the workforce by 2022, this is a serious issue. 

Filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC

When employees suspect that a supervisor is discriminating against them based on age, gender, race, religion or some other protected classification, they have the right to address the issue. If you find yourself in a situation such as this, you should first determine your employer's policies and procedures and follow the guidelines for reporting the behavior. 

If your employer does not take steps to correct the issue, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you have the right to file a formal complaint with that federal agency. If you are unsure about representing yourself through the process, you may have someone else take on this role for you.

School fined for employment law violation

Wisconsin teenagers are important members of the local workforce. These young boys and girls often fill low-paid, less desired positions that older, more skilled workers are less likely to seek out. Unfortunately, some companies use the fact that teenagers are typically less experienced and knowledgeable about their rights to have them work unpaid overtime, violating employment law. An out-of-state school was recently hit with $47,578 in fines and ordered to shell out $635,269 in unpaid overtime. 

According to the Department of Labor, from July 2015 to July 2017 the school made 97 summer counselors aged 14 to 15 work longer than 40 hours per week during the summers. Federal law caps the number of hours teenagers of this age can work at 40 hours in a single week. However, summer camp counselors are sometimes considered exempt from this mandate under Section 13(a)(3) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This means that certain camp counselors are exempt from federal minimum wage and overtime laws. 

A few things to keep in mind on social media and job hunting

If you are currently looking for your next gig, second job or a career change in Milwaukee, you might want to be a little careful about what you post on social media. Though your account may be set to private or you don’t share things all too often, employers are paying attention and using what they find to influence their hiring decisions. 

Employers use many resources to vet their workers. Now that the use of social media is at an all-time high, some of them are going to the internet to research potential and current employees. Here are some things to keep in mind during your job hunt about social media use. 

Disney named in workplace discrimination suit

For most people in Wisconsin, Disney brings to mind childhood memories of movies and theme park rides. Unfortunately, not everyone has such cheery memories. A former employee recently filed a workplace discrimination lawsuit, claiming that the company engaged in gender bias during her pregnancy. 

The woman previously worked as an aerial dancer in one of the popular live shows at the Animal Kingdom park of Walt Disney World. She described her former position as one that was highly sought after. The women who performed in the show wore harnesses, which were then clipped to safety gear during the show so they could fly inside the theater. 

Court rules In-N-Out Burger violated federal employment law

Dress codes in the workplace are nothing new, with most Wisconsin employees having to abide by some kind of dress policy while on the job. However, can employers go too far when enforcing these polices and end up violating employment law? According to the outcome of a recent case, yes they can.

In-N-Out Burger is a popular west-coast burger joint that recently made headlines for violating federal labor laws. The issue started in another state, where workers wore badges that promoted the cause of higher minimum wages for food industry workers. However, In-N-Out quickly put a stop to this by forbidding its workers from wearing the pins, which they said fell under a company rule of no stickers or pins.

Are you under constant stress due to employer demands?

These days, multi-tasking is a daily effort. You probably have to meet deadlines at times and work long hours, but if this kind of pressure happens more often than not, it can take a toll on your health.

Are you at least receiving fair compensation for the extra hours you put in and the stress that comes with your job?

What to do if you suspect retaliation

You have done the right thing and reported an employer's legal or safety violations. Or perhaps you exercised your legal rights and filed a complaint for discrimination or other illegal workplace conduct. Now, however, you are concerned that you might face pushback from bosses who are unhappy with what you did.

Laws that govern matters like worker safety, anti-discrimination, environmental protections, public safety and financial reporting generally contain provisions protecting employees who act to prevent violations, in addition to separate state and federal statutes. In practice, it is important to know how to protect yourself, as many employers try to find ways around anti-retaliation laws.

Workplace discrimination suit alleges museum acted improperly

Having a child is a joyful experience for most Wisconsin parents. Unfortunately, treatment in the workplace can overshadow this joyful occasion for some women. An out-of-state mother claims that she was the victim of workplace discrimination when a potential employer rescinded an offer of employment upon learning that she had recently had a child.

Nikki Columbus served as Parkett's editor until the magazine stopped publication in 2017. Shortly before publication ceased, Columbus was approached by the chief curator at the museum MoMA PS1. The chief curator encouraged Columbus to apply for a job as the museum's performance curator, which she did. At the time of the interview she was five months pregnant, but did not disclose this information out of fear of backlash. During the interview, the chief curator allegedly referred to the person who had last filled that position, noting that she was not as present in her position once she gave birth.

Does my dispute fall under business law?

Nothing can derail your output and efficiency quite like a business dispute. If the dispute drags on for too long or is serious enough, it might even lead to litigation, which can be costly and time consuming for Wisconsin professionals. When dealing with this type of issue, understanding how business law applies is important for achieving the most favorable outcome possible.

Business disputes can vary greatly in scope and subject. Because of this variety, what works to handle one issue might not apply for another. No business is immune either, as anyone from the smallest startup to large corporations can be affected. Some common disputes that require expert handling include:

  • Partnership or vendor disputes
  • Contract disputes
  • Litigation with departing executives
  • Shareholder disputes
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