OVERVIEW OF EMPLOYMENT LAWS
Wisconsin is an at will employment state. This means that you may be legally fired for any reason at any time, unless the reason for termination is for some discriminatory reason prohibited by State of Federal Law. Many persons experience a firing which they suspect or know, may be for a discriminatory reason. There are many Federal and State Laws employees may invoke to correct the illegal firing, obtain re-instatement and or obtain back or front pay. You may be familiar with the laws, but in summary they are as follows:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; 180 time limit to make claims.
the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;
the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;
Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA), which prohibit employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments;
Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government;
Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), which prohibits employment discrimination based on genetic information about an applicant, employee, or former employee; and
the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
Wisconsin Fair Employment Law
Protected classes: Age, Ancestry, Arrest Record, Color, Conviction Record, Creed, Disability, Genetic Testing, Honesty Testing, Marital Status, Military Service, National Origin, Pregnancy or Childbirth, Race, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours. Employees may not be harassed in the workplace based on their protected status nor retaliated against for filing a complaint, for assisting with a complaint, or for opposing discrimination in the workplace. There is a 300-day time limit for filing a discrimination complaint.
These claims can be very hard to prove, and a person experiencing such discrimination may wish to consult with a lawyer at Wanezek & Jaekels. Time deadlines are much shorter in such cases, and you must file your claim shortly after the firing or you may lose your right to maintain the action. These cases, often referred to as “civil rights” claims contain a statutory allowance for recovery of attorney fees, if you prevail, you may be awarded the attorney fees you incurred in bringing the claim in addition to other damages. We routinely handle such case for employees. Please contact David Daul or Warren Wanezek at our office for a free consultation and evaluation of your claim.