The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an actual or perceived disability or on the basis of genetic test results (WI Stat. Sec. 111.31 et seq.). The Act covers all public and private employers.
A "disability" is defined as any physical or mental impairment that limits the capacity to work or makes achievement unusually difficult. The definition also includes having a record of such an impairment or being perceived as having such an impairment. According to a ruling by the state Equal Rights Division, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a protected disability. Wisconsin's courts have found that asthma is also a protected disability under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.
Like the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Wisconsin law prevents an employer from making a decision regarding hiring, promotion, job duties, compensation, or any other condition of employment on the basis of knowledge or suspicion that an individual has a disability.
Under state law, employment discrimination also includes:
• Contributing a reduced amount to fringe benefits, including life or disability insurance coverage because of an employee's disability, and
• Refusing to reasonably accommodate an applicant's or employee's disability unless the accommodation would pose a hardship on the employer's business.
The law provides an exception if an individual's disability is reasonably related to his or her ability to adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of employment (WI Stat. Sec. 111.34).
Healthcare providers and public safety officers. Healthcare providers, peace officers, and firefighters are prohibited from either refusing to provide ...