Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

The Great Lake state of Wisconsin boasts a population of about 5.6 million people and an annual GDP equal of about $211 billion. The state’s economy supports numerous agricultural ventures (most famously, dairy farming), as well as education, manufacturing, and healthcare industries.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is in charge of handing the state’s employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases. The DWD operates under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Per state law, harassment and discrimination is illegal in the arenas of the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.

The DWD also investigates and enforces claims pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act and maintains an Equal Rights Division to protect the rights of Wisconsin citizens, to train workers and employers to comply with Civil Rights Laws, and to issue permits and hold hearings on relevant matters. The Equal Rights division is further subdivided into three parts: the Office of Support Services, the Bureau of Civil Rights, and the Bureau of Labor Standards.

Many times over the past two decades, Wisconsin has found itself at the epicenter over battles about affirmative action. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, for instance, supports a progressive affirmative action program. But some students, administrators, and legal experts have argued that affirmative action violates the state’s antidiscrimination laws by institutionalizing “reverse” discrimination. The politics and legal arguments behind these claims can be quite complicated, as can the relevant jurisdictional logistics. (E.g. does a case fall under the auspices of State or Federal Law?)

To test whether or not you have a harassment, discrimination, or reverse discrimination claim, you may need an outside legal opinion. The firm of Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP offers free and confidential consultations for employees whose think their rights have been violated.