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Employment Law, Rights & Responsibilities

As an employee, taking legal action against your employment can be an intimidating and emotional proposition. Sometimes, however, you have no other option. If you have a legal dispute related to your employment, choose a strong advocate who can bear the burden of taking on your employer for you.

At the same time, business owners and their management personnel frequently find themselves in need of legal assistance with practical and legal issues involving employment and labor law. One Law Group, S.C. is practiced in helping businesses avoid unnecessary lawsuits and prevail when an employee or government challenges their decisions.

The attorneys at One Law Group, S.C. are experienced in advising employers and employees on their rights and responsibilities when it comes to employment disputes. We can help with human resource consulting, conflict resolution, severance agreements and litigated matters including administrative hearings and proceedings before the state and federal courts. Advising both employers and employees can avoid unnecessary disputes, litigation and accompanying expenses, yet experienced representation in litigated matters is also a service the attorneys at One Law Group, S.C. provide.

Our firm handles a variety of employment law cases including those related to wrongful termination, breach of contract, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, unlawful employment practices including discrimination, sexual harassment, wage claims, registration and licensing issues, family medical leave, retaliation protection, wage and hour/labor standards, administrative compliance and municipal employment. Please contact us with your employment law questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

They didn’t hire me because I “failed” the background check. Can they do that?
The answer is… it depends. The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) makes it an act of unlawful discrimination to refuse to hire an applicant because of his/her conviction record. However, there is an exception called the substantial relationship exception to conviction record discrimination. If an offense in your background check is substantially related to the position you applied for, the employer can deny you the position.

What does it mean to be employed “at-will” in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin is an “at-will” state. Under the at-will employment doctrine, an employer can terminate an employment relationship (aka fire an employee) for good cause, no cause, or even for reasons that are subjectively or morally “wrong,” so long as the termination does not violate any employment laws. The at-will employment doctrine also means that employees are free to end the employment relationship (aka quit), whenever they so choose and for whatever reason(s) they so choose.

How do I file a discrimination complaint in Wisconsin?
A person who believes he or she is a victim of unlawful employment discrimination may file a complaint with the Equal Rights Division within 300 days of the discriminatory conduct. Resolution of such cases may take longer than one (1) year. Efforts are made to resolve the case in a timely manner. Settlement is often a good option for both parties. The investigation will determine whether there is probable cause to proceed to a hearing. Upon the finding of probable cause a hearing is held before an Administrative Law Judge who reviews the evidence and testimony of the witnesses and then issues a decision whether discrimination occurred. The Administrative Law Judge can award lost wages, interest on lost wages, and attorney’s fees and costs. A job offer may also be ordered if appropriate. Either party may appeal the Administrative Law Judge’s decision. Additional damages for humiliation and emotional pain or punitive damages may only be awarded in cases filed in federal court.

What if I am terminated following a work injury?
Wisconsin law provides that an employer that unreasonably refuses to rehire an injured employee may be liable for up to one (1) year’s lost wages to the employee. These decisions are decided by an Administrative Law Judge in the Worker’s Compensation Division.

How do I file for unemployment compensation?
In order to file a claim for unemployment you will need your social security number, your Wisconsin driver’s license number or personal identification number. An initial claim for benefits can be filed online. Generally the claim will start during the week you file a completed application for benefits. You will be given an opportunity at the end of the application to review your answers and print a copy. Once you submit the application a tracking number is assigned. If you cannot finish your claim online a claim specialist will contact you. The claim can either be conceded or disputed by the employer. If the claim is disputed a hearing will be held before an Administrative Law Judge of the Unemployment Compensation Division. Either side may appeal that decision. Generally, unemployment compensation is available to terminated employees. However, employees can be denied unemployment if they are physically unable to work, have engaged in misconduct, or quit their position.

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