On many occasions, employees have called me for advice afterthey have filed a discrimination complaint with Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division (ERD), or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
When I review their situations, I find that many of those employees should not, in my opinion, have filed their discrimination complaints. These employees’ matters are not usually frivolous, and there is usually sound basis to think their employers treated them unfairly. However, being treated unfairly does not itself make for a good discrimination claim.
This is one of the many important things an employment attorney could tell you before you file a discrimination complaint- that is, if you ask. There are some other important factors that do-it-yourselfers, given their unfamiliarity with the legal process, are commonly unaware of.
Many employees file discrimination complaints with Wisconsin’s Equal Rights Division (ERD) without retaining an attorney. If you are an ERD complainant without an attorney, and you just received a “probable cause” determination, you may be wondering “now what?” Or at least you should be. In the time following a probable cause determination, things will get more formal and legalistic. You should get the most information you can about what’s to come.
Below, I’ll discuss what a “probable cause” (PC) determination means, what a “no probable cause” (NPC) determination means, and what each determination may mean for you. Bad news first.
Employees, employers, retirees and everyone else should check out this outstanding post by Professional Life Coach Tim Brownson: “5 Questions That Will Change Your Life.” Mr. Brownson arms readers with 5 questions that you should ask when facing any important life decision- I should note, these questions directly apply to any employment dispute or litigation that you are considering.
The magic questions are these:
If you are an employee in Wisconsin and feel you are (or were) being sexually-harassed, you should know the following:
(A) Know how the law defines sexual harassment;
(B) Keep proof (documentation or recordings);
(C) Learn your employer’s policies before complaining or taking action;
(D) Do not act angrily or righteously;
(E) Before complaining, consider the risks of retaliation;
(F) Proactively arrange for Plan B (e.g. a new job, or transfer to different boss); and
(G) Don’t quit because the employer tells you to.
This information is described in more detail below.
If you are an employee thinking of filing a discrimination complaint with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division (ERD) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there are several things you may want to consider before submitting the complaint.
Please note this post does not provide legal advice- if you want legal advice, you should contact an attorney and discuss your specific circumstances. If you are interested in legal assistance from attorney-author Michael Brown for your matter, you can contact Mr. Brown and his law firm DVG Law Partner here:
First, you can review ERD’s website here for information about Wisconsin’s discrimination law, the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA), and about filing a complaint at ERD. You can also review EEOC’s information about filing a complaint (also called a “charge”) here. Continue reading
People with medical conditions often have unique requirements or problems arise at work. You should consider the following things to reduce the risk of problems.
Please note this post does not provide legal advice- if you want legal advice, you should contact an attorney and discuss your specific circumstances. If you are interested in legal assistance from attorney-author Michael Brown or his law firm DVG Law Partner for your matter, please contact them here: