Employment discrimination is the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of other people at work, because of their membership in a legally protected category such as race, sex, age, or religion. Each state has passed laws and rules to protect your workplace rights: this page covers Wisconsin employment discrimination. The purpose of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Law is to protect workers in Wisconsin from unlawful discrimination in employment. Read below to learn more about Wisconsin employment law and how the law protects you. The Wisconsin Fair Employment Law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, membership in the national guard, state defense force or any other reserve component of the military forces, declining to attend a meeting or participate in any discussion regarding political or political matters that substantially and adversely affect the general welfare of the stateor use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer's premises during nonworking hours. Employers may not require certain types of honesty testing or genetic testing as a condition of employment, nor discipline an employee because of the results.
Prior to this change, remedies were limited to reinstatement, back pay and attorneys' fees. The result of this law is that employers' potential exposure under the WFEA has increased. The WFEA amendments take effect "the day after publication or the 2nd day after publication of the biennial budget act, whichever is later. Under the new law, after all administrative proceedings before the Department of Workforce Development DWD and appeals to the Labor and Industry Review Commission LIRC have been completed, the DWD or a prevailing claimant may file suit in circuit court to recover compensatory and punitive damages plus reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.
Some courts have ruled that Title VII also bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Supreme Court recently announced it will take up this question in three cases. In addition, many states and cities have laws that ban this kind of discrimination.