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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.

Ways to address stressing out at work

People spend a large part of their lives at their places of employment. As such, employees’ work environment can play a strong role in their overall health and stress levels.

Different factors can lead to stress at work. In some cases, the job in itself can create a stressful situation, while other stressors can be unnecessarily triggered. Thankfully, employees may avoid or address stress in the workplace by first identifying the stressors. 

How does the new tax code affect small business law?

Virtually no one in Wisconsin particularly enjoys tax season, but these feelings may be especially pronounced among small business owners. Filing taxes can be a time-consuming and confusing task for entrepreneurs and those who run their own businesses. The whole process might seem even more confusing since the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, so here are a few ways in which those changes affect small business law.

Owners running partnerships, sole proprietorships and LLCs treated as either partnerships or sole proprietorships are called pass-through business entities. In the past, any net taxable income generated by these types of business entities was passed on to its individual owner, who had to pay taxes at personal rates. Now, these owners can file a deduction on their share of the QBI -- qualified business income. In some cases, the deduction could amount to as much as 20 percent of the QBI.

City moves to ban natural hair workplace discrimination

Wisconsin residents are protected from a wide range of discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination based on race, gender and more. However, as cultural norms evolve, workers could see new protections. The outcome of proposed workplace discrimination protections in another state could ultimately cause ripples that spread out across the rest of the nation.

In the city in question, black workers will now be able to wear their hair naturally without fear of repercussions from their employers. Before this change, employers frequently required their black employees to alter their natural hair. These workers were often forced to either cut or chemically alter their hair or face retaliation or even termination.

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

Since work plays such a crucial role in everyone's daily routine, having an enjoyable work environment is important. A toxic workplace can have several negative side effects on a worker's mentality.

Stress can be common in almost any work environment, but some jobs have it significantly worse than others. Employees that want to minimize the amount of stress in their positions should perform the following steps:

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.

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