Wisconsin has just one EEOC Area Office, which is in Milwaukee. The closest District Office is in Chicago, IL. In-office visits are not permitted right now due to the pandemic, but either the area office or district office may still be contacted by phone or email if you wish to seek advice. An intake appointment may still be arranged using the online Public Portal and interviews made by phone.
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that oversees all federal anti-discrimination laws as they apply to employment. These laws are the following
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1967,
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The EEOC investigates and acts on legitimate claims by employees who work for employers with 15 or more employees.
Employees who decide to submit a complaint or file a claim but work in smaller workplaces might be able to use a state fair employment practices agency (FEPA).
In Wisconsin this would be the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division which has offices in both Madison and Milwaukee. In the City of Madison there is also the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission.
Wisconsin law provides protection for employees from discrimination at work because they are members of a protected class. A complaint can be filed against an employer if discrimination is experienced in a similar way as can be done with the EEOC.
You have 300 days from the date the discrimination took place to file a complaint with the EEOC in Wisconsin. If you work in a small workplace (fewer than 15 employees) the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division enforces a similar 300 day time limit from the date the discriminatory act took place to file a claim of discrimination. A similar 300 day time limit is also applicable to the City of Madison, WI.
Location of EEOC’s Milwaukee Area Office
- Reuss Federal Plaza
- 310 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 500
- Milwaukee, WI 53203
- Phone: 1-800-669-4000
- Fax: 414-297-4133
- TTY: 1-800-669-6820
- Director: Wendy Martin
- Regional Attorney: Gregory M. Gochanour
Office Hours: 8.30 – 4.30 p.m. Monday to Friday for telephone contact only. Use the Public Portal to make enquiries or request an interview.
Wisconsin's Employment Laws
Wisconsin’s laws are much the same as the federal government laws regarding discrimination in a workplace.
Discrimination at work due to an employee’s age, gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnicity or disability is totally illegal.
Any kind of sexual harassment at work, like unsolicited emails, phone calls, physical contact, innuendo, etc., is considered to be a form of sex discrimination and is also illegal.
Employees, especially those who work in some of the smaller workplaces, may file a charge of discrimination with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division or the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission. The process to follow is quite similar to that used by the EEOC.
What You Can Do Next
If you believe you have faced discrimination at work and you wish to file a charge of discrimination against your employer, it is useful to ask an employment law attorney to work through the process with you.
The attorney will be knowledgeable about the state and federal laws and can assist you in the preparation of your case against your employer.
The EEOC, or state FEPA, will conduct an investigation into the complaint. If the EEOC agrees that you have good reason to file a lawsuit against your employer in a civil court, your attorney can assist you to prepare a strong case on your behalf.
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- Which Government Agencies Handle Workplace Discrimination?