Monthly Archives: July 2010

Wisconsin Unemployment Info and Resources for Workers

Here are some (hopefully) handy resources for Wisconsin workers with pending unemployment issues:

State of WI DWD’s Legal Resources webpage

Information from the State about unemployment laws, case decisions, and practical information (e.g. FAQs, info about how to file an appeal, attending an unemployment hearing).

Blog Articles About WI Unemployment for Workers

Contains links to all the articles on this Employee Rights Wisconsin blog geared toward workers with WI unemployment issues.  The posts listed there include Employee Tip: Filing for Unemployment in WI; Preparing for Appeal and Hearing (this is the most-read article on the blog), Three Rules for an Unemployment Interview or Hearing, and other worker-oriented articles about WI unemployment issues.


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The Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was 30 | Crazy Sexy Life

9. The material world will not bring you true happiness. My generation was taught to think that happiness and success come from consumption. Materialism doesn’t bring you happiness. The media keeps feeding our need to buy more (appealing to our inner lizard of lack) and then we end up in our 50s or 60s with too much stuff and chained to The Man. We ask ourselves, “Is this all there is?” I am not saying that having abundance is a bad thing. What I am saying is that it is not the answer to happiness.

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Article By John Robbins: Why Factory Farms Threaten Your Health

This article discusses how large factory farms’ routine use of antibiotics are the biggest cause of drug-resistant bacteria. The numbers and types of drug-resistant bacteria are increasing, and are causing more illnesses and deaths. The article discusses pending legislation, H.R. 1549, that would require factory farms to reduce their overuse of antibiotics, and find ways to produce food that are safer for public health.

Dr. Ali Khan, Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress this week that the evidence implicating the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture in the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is “unequivocal and compelling.”

The widespread use of antibiotics in animal agriculture does slightly increase the yield and profit margin obtained by factory farms. But do the American people really think that preserving the profitability of factory farming is more important than the future viability of what may be the most significant medical tool ever developed?

To participate in the campaign to pass H.R. 1549, click here.

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TIME Article: Workplace Bullying: New York Bill Targets Abusive Bosses

Worker abuse is a widespread problem — in a 2007 Zogby poll, 37% of American adults said they had been bullied at work — and most of it is perfectly legal. Workers who are abused based on their membership in a protected class — race, nationality or religion, among others — can sue under civil rights laws. But the law generally does not protect against plain old viciousness.

That may be about to change. Workers’ rights advocates have been campaigning for years to get states to enact laws against workplace bullying, and in May they scored their biggest victory. The New York state senate passed a bill that would let workers sue for physical, psychological or economic harm due to abusive treatment on the job. If New York’s Healthy Workplace Bill becomes law, workers who can show that they were subjected to hostile conduct — including verbal abuse, threats or work sabotage — could be awarded lost wages, medical expenses, compensation for emotional distress and punitive damages.

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WI Case Finds Pro-Worker WI Non-Compete Statute Does Not Apply to an Employee’s Stock Agreement

This Wisconsin Court of Appeals case, The Selmer Company v. Rinn, found that Wisconsin’s non-compete statute (Wis. Stat. § 103.465, which protects workers’ mobility, and invalidates overly-restrictive non-compete agreements) did not apply to an employee’s stock option agreement with his employer. According to the Court:

[U]nlike typical restrictive covenants, upon which a prospective employee’s position may depend, there were no consequences attached to Rinn’s refusal to accept the agreement. The circuit court found Rinn was not pressured to sign the stock option agreement, nor was his employment conditioned upon his doing so. Indeed, the circuit court found Rinn’s refusal would not have affected his employment in any way.

Because the non-compete statute did not apply, the agreement’s non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions were scrutinized under law that was better for the employer. The agreement was found enforceable. The employee’s competitive actions were found in violation of the (enforced) agreement’s provisions. This case is also notable because the Courts involved found sanctions (penalties) should be made against the employee for continuing competitive activities that a court prohibited, and also for violating legal procedural rules (specifically, discovery rules). Bottom lines for WI workers: (1) do not assume that WI’s pro-worker non-compete statute will apply to and/or invalidate your non-compete agreement; (2) with non-competes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure– have an attorney review your situation BEFORE you take a new job and/or engage in activities the employer may allege are non-competitive; (3) there are additional risks to you if you violate a court order (or put yourself in a position where your opponent could argue that to be the case).

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