On June 16, 2014, the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) issued a fair employment decision finding that RTS Distributors, an independent distributor of Kirby vacuum cleaners, discriminated against Donald Zunker, a job applicant, when it interviewed but failed to hire him due to his conviction record. The Commission also held that RTS violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act by posting an online job advertisement stating, “Please no felonies.”
The Commission reversed the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) decision which had found “discrimination in the hiring process” but refused to order instatement or back pay. In addition to the remedies awarded by the ALJ (removal of the “Please no felonies” language from the online posting and attorney’s fees and costs), the Commission ordered back pay and instatement, stating “it is the discriminating employer who bears the burden of establishing through clear and convincing evidence that such remedy should not be awarded.” RTS is now required to hire Zunker for the next available position within its company.
The decisions may be found at the following links:
Zunker v. RTS Distributors, ERD Case No. CR201004089 (LIRC June 16, 2014)
Zunker v. RTS Distributors, ERD Case No. CR201004089 (ALJ Schacht Jan. 30, 2013)