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Madison Civil Litigation Blog

Wisconsin employment: Hotels ordered to pay back wages to workers

Two hotel companies in another state were recently ordered to pay back wages to some of their employees. A total of 14 employees were reportedly not paid for working over their scheduled 40 hours per week, and some were paid less than minimum wage. Sadly, wage violations are common and can occur anywhere and in any job field. Wisconsin residents who believe they are victims of wage violations can turn to an employment law attorney for help in seeking compensation for their losses.

According to a recent news report, both a Super 8 Hotel and a Ramada Inn reportedly paid housekeeping staff a flat rate per room cleaned, which came out to being less than federal minimum wage -- currently set at $7.25 an hour. These and other employees often worked more than 40 hours per week, but no overtime pay was offered them. These are both violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Construction litigation: Accused of using defective supplies?

You've been in construction for a long time. You take pride in your work. You do the best you can and make sure you are using quality materials. Then, it happened; a few months or years after finishing a project, you are accused of using defective supplies and are being sued for damages. Construction litigation of this kind is all too common in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

The problem with construction defect claims is that product defects are not always known to contractors when they are working on a project. These are issues that may not be known for some time, but contractors can still be held accountable for using said materials -- as can the manufacturer. It may be difficult to prove that you were not aware of material defects.

Policy change and business litigation: The L.L. Bean situation

Business owners in Wisconsin and elsewhere should be free to change company policies if their current policies are hurting their bottom line. This is something clothing retailer L.L. Bean recently did. Now, the company finds itself facing business litigation due to consumers being unhappy about the change.

According to a recent news report, a legal claim was filed against L.L. Bean by a loyal customer who is upset that the company has done away with its lifetime warranty. The plaintiff in this case says the company has harmed its consumers and is failing to live up to the promises made to those who bought products because of lifetime warranty offerings. L.L. Bean has yet to respond to the complaint.

Wisconsin woman wins employment litigation lawsuit

A woman in Wisconsin recently won her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against her employer. Sadly, pregnancy discrimination happens all too often. Others who find themselves in similar situations as this woman may also file employment litigation claims in civil court.

According to a recent report, a caregiver at Silverado Oak Village in Menomonee Falls requested light duty due to medical restrictions stemming from her pregnancy. Her employer refused the request and ultimately fired her instead. As a result, this individual filed a discrimination lawsuit in hopes of settling with her former employer out of court. The negotiations process failed to produce desirable results, however, so her case went to trial.

Digital data and business litigation

More and more companies in Wisconsin and elsewhere are going paperless. This is a good and bad thing all at the same time. It may save trees and help streamline information and communication, but there can be issues regarding digital data when it comes to business litigation cases.

Think about how communications work in your business. Is it all done via email, phone, text? How do you keep and store communications and company documents? Do you even keep digital copies of everything?

Were you the victim of wrongful termination?

The last thing you want to think about is losing your job. Adding to this, you never want to get the feeling that you were a victim of a wrongful termination. Unfortunately, this can happen.

Whether or not you were the victim of a wrongful termination depends on many factors. Here are some things to think about if you believe you have a wrongful termination claim:

  • The terms and conditions of any contract you have with your employer
  • Anti-discrimination laws
  • Whistleblower retaliation laws
  • Protected time off, such as through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Termination policies

Wisconsin construction litigation: property development issues

Developing property, whether in Wisconsin or elsewhere, is not a small job. Developers and builders have to work together to see a project really come to life. If anything goes wrong along the way, or if issues are found with the property once it is finished, those responsible for the problems could face construction litigation or other legal claims.

Property development starts with an idea. Then, the developer must find land that fits that idea. Sometimes, this is easy to do, and other times, it takes fighting for zoning and land use changes. Once the property is obtained, it then takes finalizing the plan, working on a budget and making sure everything is above board from a legal standpoint.

Overtime pay employment disputes

Sprint, one of the nation's largest cell phone service companies, is facing yet another lawsuit from former employees over unpaid overtime pay. Another lawsuit against the company for this same reason was just recently settled in another state. This is an employment law issue that may or may not affect Wisconsin residents, but it is certainly a good example of actions that can be taken by those who believe their employers have failed to compensate them appropriately.

According to reports, just a few months ago Sprint settled an overtime pay lawsuit to the tune of $365,000. They denied any wrongdoing but wished to limit the cost of litigation. A former employee failed to be compensated for her losses as she was unaware of the previously filed lawsuit, so she has filed another claim against the company, and other employees are said to be joining in. The woman behind this most recent case says that she frequently worked 45-50 hours per week but was pressured to only clock 40 hours. If this is true, she was drastically shorted income owed to her.

Employment age discrimination case filed against HP

Hewlett-Packard is making headlines these days, but not for anything good. A former employee filed an employment age discrimination lawsuit against the company after he was let go from his job after nearly 40 years. As he is not the first person to bring such a claim, he is seeking class action status. While this case is taking place in another state, age discrimination in the workplace is a problem seen nationwide, including in Wisconsin.

The plaintiff, a now 55-year-old male, was let go from his job in May 2012. He was a research and development buyer for the company. In his complaint, the plaintiff says he was forced out of his job due to an age-related workforce reduction plan. His is one of 32 age discrimination complaints filed against HP since July 2012.

Business litigation over website accessibility? It can happen

A business owner may be sued for any number of reasons. It happens. All he or she can do is try to prevent business litigation by setting up all the necessary legal protections from the get go. But law changes and new court rulings mean that business owners in Wisconsin and elsewhere have to stay up to date and update their practices. Failing to do so could have significant financial consequences.

Company owners often depend on website traffic to draw sales. So, they take great care in creating company websites that are easy to navigate and are appealing to their consumers. One thing that business owners may not have considered is how easily accessible their websites are for those with disabilities.


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