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Milwaukee, WI employment attorneys for sexual harassment claimsBy Attorney Erin Strohbehn

In the United States of America, everyone has the right to work in a professional setting free of sexual harassment, discrimination, and intimidation. In Wisconsin, sexual harassment and discrimination of any kind is prohibited in the workplace. According to the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, victims of sexual harassment and discrimination may be able to recover financial damages if the proper measures were not taken to address these issues. Damages may include loss of income and physical and emotional suffering. When addressing these matters, employers will want to work with an experienced employment law attorney.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment occurs when a person experiences unwelcome sexual advances, demands for sexual favors, or inappropriate verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment in the workplace typically falls into one of two categories:

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Milwaukee employment law attorney sexual orientation discriminationThe U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear three cases involving discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity in the workplace. The consequences of their decisions in these cases could be far-reaching for private citizens as well as employers who must comply with state and federal employment laws. A recent study shows that LGBT people are much more likely to experience discrimination at work than their heterosexual peers. A 2017 Harvard study found more than one in five LGBT Americans report experiencing employment-related discrimination. Therefore, many LGBT Americans will be eagerly waiting to hear about the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue. 

This legal question has presented a split among the lower courts. Some courts have ruled that federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against those who identify as LGBT. Other courts have held that there is no law prohibiting this discrimination in the workplace.

The federal law involved in these cases is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Absent from this list is sexual orientation or transgender status. So, that begs the question: Can the word “sex” be interpreted to include sexual orientation or transgender status? Those who argue that Title VII does protect LGBT individuals say that sexual orientation is a subset of sex, which is a prohibited basis under Title VII. In addition, those who argue that Title VII also protects transgender individuals claim that it is impossible to discriminate against an employee based on that employee's status as a transgender person without being motivated, at least in part, by the employee's sex. On the other hand, those who argue that Title VII does not protect LGBT individuals claim that “sex” refers only to someone’s biological sex determined at birth. 

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Milwaukee employment dispute attorneyIf you believe that you will be a party to an employment law dispute, such as a disagreement between an employer and employee about wages and hours, you may be wondering how the dispute will come to an end. In many cases, parties who have asked a court to settle their legal issues leave the process unsatisfied and not on good terms with one another.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is an option for resolving workplace disputes that focuses on finding a solution or compromise that will be workable for both parties. One benefit of this process is that it can result in a continued working relationship between the employer and employee after the dispute has been resolved, which appeals to many people in this situation. 

What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Litigation in court is the traditional method of settling legal disputes, and it is adversarial in nature. At the end of the litigation, a judgment will be made by a court and both parties will be bound by it. 

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Posted on in Employment Law

Milwaukee employment law attorney employer employee disputeWhether you are an employer or employee, you have rights under state and federal law, and you may also have rights which were contractually established in your specific situation. Here are four types of disputes that often arise in the area of employment law:

1. Wrongful Termination Allegations

Wrongful termination cases can be some of the most difficult and emotionally-charged employment law disputes. These cases often put an employee’s work on trial. It should be noted that Wisconsin is an at-will employment state, meaning that an employer may terminate any employee for any reason so long as there is no contract in place and so long as the employer does not violate certain discrimination and retaliation laws.

2. Wage Disputes

This type of lawsuit arises when an employer is accused of not properly compensating a worker for their time on the job. This can include not paying workers for overtime or earned tips or not allowing regular paid breaks. Employers must also pay workers minimum wages. The current Wisconsin and federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. 

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disabled employees, Milwaukee employment law, Milwaukee employment law attorneys, employee disability,  employee accommodationsThe laws in the United States provide employees with certain protections if they have a disability, thus ensuring they will not face discrimination because of any physical or mental conditions they experience. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations that will allow them to have the same employment opportunities as other employees.

However, while the concept of “reasonable accommodations” may seem clear when it comes to meeting an employee’s needs in the workplace (such as ensuring a workplace is wheelchair accessible), it becomes less so when considering requests for employee leave. An understanding of employment law is often required when determining whether leave requests fall under the umbrella of reasonable accommodations.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

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