In a follow up series to our July newsletter article, “What is Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law?” we will now unveil a more detailed description of Wisconsin’s employment law, some key issues, and the complaint process. Remember that Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law protects the rights of Wisconsinites against discrimination in the workplace. This procedure makes it unlawful for public or private employers to refuse to hire, discharge or other-wise discriminate in any type of work, because of a person’s protected class. Now, not all harsh, rude, unfair, or insensitive actions in the workplace are unlawful. In order to be deemed unlawful, the action must have been taken, at least in part, because of the employee’s protected class.
In Wisconsin, the protected classes are race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex/gender, handicap or disability, arrest/conviction record, marital status, sexual orientation, military service, or the outside use of lawful products. Wisconsin Fair Employment Law prohibits discrimination in employment-related actions such as: pay, training, demotion, promotion, recruitment/hiring, lay-off/termination, job assignments, union membership, and benefits.
The law also prohibits an employer from retaliating against a person who asserts their rights under Wisconsin Fair Employment Law, the Family and Medical Leave Law and other labor standards laws. In addition, most genetic testing methods or the giving of an improper honesty test is also a prohibited practice. Wisconsin’s employment law protects the jobs of many workers, but there are times when an employer may “legally” discriminate in the workplace. These situations generally involve the use of conviction records, age, marital status or disability, and are taken to ensure that an employee can adequately and safely perform their job duties. For example, an employer may set a maximum age requirement for a physically demanding or dangerous position, or an employer may prevent a person from supervising their spouse.
All citizens of the United States are protected by several Federal Laws including: Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Equal Pay Act. While complaints for any violations in State law are handled by the Equal Rights Division of The Department of Workforce Development, all Federal claims of discrimination are handled by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
After this general overview of Wisconsin Fair Employment law, you may have questions or concerns about the law, please feel free to comment below this blog with any questions or contact one of our attorneys or go to KH-LAW.net to schedule your free consultation.