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3 common examples of gender bias in the workplace

Gender equality in the workplace is a major issue. As a woman in the workplace, you may deal with gender bias at your job. Biases make the workplace uncomfortable. Discrimination and prejudice against women have no place in any industry or profession. 

When you are in an environment that is mostly male-dominated, it can be difficult to spot these issues and confront them. Here are three common types of gender bias you may face at your job.

Signs of age discrimination at work

Age discrimination is one of the most prevalent issues facing older Americans today. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit last year against the University of Wisconsin system for refusing to hire a 53-year old former employee due to her age. 

Not all instances of age discrimination are readily apparent. Some employers will not outright abuse older employees, but they will perform actions that are antithetical to older employees' success. Watch out for the following signs, and take appropriate action when necessary.

Small business law: dealing with trademark infringement

Utilizing unique designs, logos, names and symbols helps set small businesses apart in a world where technology is often vying for customers' attention. Wisconsin business owners often trademark these unique aspects of their company, but that does not necessarily stop other people from infringing on those trademarks. Here are a few things some business owners might find important about trademarks and small business law.

As protected intellectual property, trademarks help businesses protect their individual brands. Trademarks not only protect businesses, but they also protect consumers from confusion or deception. As such, trademark infringement often involves businesses operating in similar industries. If a similar phrase or design is used by another company in a different industry, it might not be considered trademark infringement because consumers are unlikely to be confused.

Settlement reached for police chief's workplace discrimination

In a discrimination case that made national headlines, a city in another state recently agreed to pay a settlement to a former police chief. The city also agreed to implement reform in the police department in order to prevent future incidents of the same nature. Obtaining financial compensation and pushing a company or employer to make critical changes are both driving factors in some workplace discrimination claims in Wisconsin.

The former police chief initially accepted the job back in 2011. At the time he made significant changes to the department, putting a significant emphasis on the local community. In fact, he noted that during his time employed by that department, five years passed without any homicides in the local community.

3 subtle ways your boss might be retaliating

There are many ways your boss may fire back if you complain or act as a whistleblower. If you were being disruptive, these types of sanctions may simply be bad leadership. However, if you were exercising your state or federal rights as an employee, these types of behaviors could constitute a basis for an employment lawsuit.

If you complained recently, you would probably want to keep an eye out for possible workplace retaliation. Getting fired could qualify for this type of dispute, but there exist other, subtler indications that your employers are violating your rights under federal law. Here are some examples:

Tesla accused of mishandling whistleblowing incident

Tesla is perhaps most well-known among Wisconsin car and environmental enthusiasts for its work on electric vehicles. Unfortunately, former employees claim that the company relied on paranoia and intimidation to keep employees quiet about various workplace violations. Multiple people have come forward despite CEO Elon Musk's insistence that the whistleblowing painted an inaccurate picture of his company.

The first worker to speak up about the problems at Tesla initially gave information to a business magazine regarding hazardous conditions at a factory and uncontrollable waste of raw materials. Additional safety concerns included punctured battery cells. He said that he tried to get his superiors to take his concerns seriously, but when they ignored the problems he went to the press. He was subsequently fired after a six-hour interview with company investigators.

Woman reaches settlement for workplace discrimination

Many Wisconsin workers fear reporting instances of discrimination and harassment out of fear that they will face retaliation for their actions. This became the reality for an out-of-state former prison guard who reported on-the-job sexual harassment. After filing suits over the resulting workplace discrimination, she managed to reach settlements on both of her claims.

The problems for the woman started back in 2011. She claims that her supervisors at the penitentiary where she worked did not take any actions against inappropriate behavior from both her co-workers and the inmates. According to her suit, they actively allowed the sexual harassment to continue despite her objections.

Severance agreement requirements for over-40 employees

An employment agreement for a senior manager or top executive often includes severance terms. Each severance agreement is unique, and those for employees aged 40 and up have additional requirements you must not ignore, according to the EEOC.

The severance agreement defined

Employment law: Disabled workers underpaid for Oscars work

Movie fans in Wisconsin might be fascinated with the behind-the-scenes process of awards shows like the Oscars, but some workers say that it is not as glamorous as it might seem. A nonprofit is suing a company that employed workers with disabilities to assemble the highly-coveted swag bags for both the Oscars and the Grammys. They alleged that Adelante -- the plaintiff -- violated employment law by paying unfair and unreasonably low wages for its workers.

The U.S. Congress first created the national minimum wage back in 1938, but that wage does not necessarily apply to everyone. Companies who hire workers with disabilities are generally allowed to pay them hourly wages that are far below the national minimum. However, to do this, the employer must apply for a waiver and include information about how a specific worker's disability slows down his or her performance. Approximately 150,000 workers were affected by these waivers in 2018.

Can the EEOC handle workplace discrimination claims?

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and for good reasons. Every worker in Wisconsin should have the opportunity to excel in his or her job regardless of one's race, gender, religious affiliation and more. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is still incredibly common, and those tasked with fighting injustice might not be doing as much as they could be.

The Center for Public Integrity recently analyzed data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and its counterparts that work on local and state levels. They looked at complaint data that covered eight years, ending in 2017. This involved interviewing dozens of victims who had filed complaints with the EEOC as well as going back over hundreds of different court cases. They concluded that the system routinely fails to protect workers.

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