Wisconsin Race Discrimination Attorneys

Wisconsin Employers May Not Discriminate on the Basis of Race

Race Discrimination is Illegal Under Federal & State Law

Federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Wisconsin law, under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, prohibit employers from discriminating against any employee because of her or his race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms and can include: refusal to hire or promote a person, giving an employee less-favorable treatment to others, providing an individual fewer job or promotional opportunities, paying the individual less than others doing the same job, or subjecting that employee to harassment or racial or ethnic slurs. 

In addition to this intentional discrimination, federal and state laws also prohibit employers from unintentionally discriminating against employees, or potential employees, due to her or his race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. This unintentional discrimination is often systemic, taking the form of policies or practices used by the entire organization. In particular, policies and practices of an employer that treat minority employees or applicants much less favorably than their white counterparts for hiring, promotional opportunities, raises, termination during layoffs, or any other term and condition of employment may be considered discriminatory. Such policies and practices may include, among others, criminal background checks or promotional policies that disproportionately affect minorities. 

Retaliation Protections

Individuals who either attempt to assert their right to be free from discrimination, or assert the rights of others to be free from discrimination in the workplace through a “protected activity,” may not be retaliated against by their employer through an adverse employment action. Adverse employment actions include termination, demotion, refusal to promote, reduction in wages, or a a reduction in scheduled work hours. Protected activities employees may engage in to promote their own rights, or the rights of others, include:

  • Filing or being a witness in an Equal Employment Opportunity charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
  • Communicating with a supervisor about employment discrimination or harassment
  • Answering questions during an employer’s investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment
  • Refusing to follow directives from an employer that would result in discrimination
  • Asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wage practices based upon race

Are You Experiencing Racial Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employees experiencing discrimination may take the following steps:

  1. Employees can use any employer complaint or grievance procedure to report the problem and seek resolution.
  2. An employee can also file a formal complaint with the state or federal anti-discrimination agencies:

The Wisconsin Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development can be reached in Madison or Milwaukee:

Madison Office
201 East Washington Avenue
Room A100
P.O. Box 8928
Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-6860

Milwaukee Office
819 North 6th Street
Room 723
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 227-4384

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can be reached at

310 West Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 500
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 662-3680

Contact Us

Contact us if you believe you have been subjected to discrimination based upon your race or have any questions regarding your rights in the workplacePlease call a Madison employment discrimination attorney directly at (608) 257-0040 or a Milwaukee employment discrimination attorney at (414) 271-8650, or email us via our Contact Page.

Race Discrimination is Illegal Under Federal & State Law

Federal law, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Wisconsin law, under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, prohibit employers from discriminating against any employee because of her or his race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms and can include: refusal to hire or promote a person, giving an employee less-favorable treatment to others, providing an individual fewer job or promotional opportunities, paying the individual less than others doing the same job, or subjecting that employee to harassment or racial or ethnic slurs. 

In addition to this intentional discrimination, federal and state laws also prohibit employers from unintentionally discriminating against employees, or potential employees, due to her or his race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. This unintentional discrimination is often systemic, taking the form of policies or practices used by the entire organization. In particular, policies and practices of an employer that treat minority employees or applicants much less favorably than their white counterparts for hiring, promotional opportunities, raises, termination during layoffs, or any other term and condition of employment may be considered discriminatory. Such policies and practices may include, among others, criminal background checks or promotional policies that disproportionately affect minorities. 

Retaliation Protections

Individuals who either attempt to assert their right to be free from discrimination, or assert the rights of others to be free from discrimination in the workplace through a “protected activity,” may not be retaliated against by their employer through an adverse employment action. Adverse employment actions include termination, demotion, refusal to promote, reduction in wages, or a a reduction in scheduled work hours. Protected activities employees may engage in to promote their own rights, or the rights of others, include:

  • Filing or being a witness in an Equal Employment Opportunity charge, complaint, investigation, or lawsuit
  • Communicating with a supervisor about employment discrimination or harassment
  • Answering questions during an employer’s investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment
  • Refusing to follow directives from an employer that would result in discrimination
  • Asking managers or co-workers about salary information to uncover potentially discriminatory wage practices based upon race

Are You Experiencing Racial Discrimination in the Workplace?

Employees experiencing discrimination may take the following steps:

  1. Employees can use any employer complaint or grievance procedure to report the problem and seek resolution.
  2. An employee can also file a formal complaint with the state or federal anti-discrimination agencies:

The Wisconsin Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development can be reached in Madison or Milwaukee:

Madison Office
201 East Washington Avenue
Room A100
P.O. Box 8928
Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-6860

Milwaukee Office
819 North 6th Street
Room 723
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 227-4384

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can be reached at

310 West Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 500
Milwaukee, WI 53203
(414) 662-3680

Contact Us

Contact us if you believe you have been subjected to discrimination based upon your race or have any questions regarding your rights in the workplacePlease call a Madison employment discrimination attorney directly at (608) 257-0040 or a Milwaukee employment discrimination attorney at (414) 271-8650, or email us via our Contact Page.

Tell us Your Story.
We’ll Tell you If We Can Help.

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