Wisconsin Sex Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Wisconsin Sex Discrimination: What you need to know

The Wisconsin Fair Employment Law prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and marital status unless a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception applies (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 111.31et seq.). The Law applies to all employers in the state, both private and public, regardless of the number of employees.
The term “sexual orientation” means having a preference for heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality, or having a history of being identified with such a preference.
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The term “marital status” means the status of being married, single, divorced, separated, or widowed.
Under the Law, employers are prohibited from:
• Discriminating against any individual in promotion, compensation paid for equal or substantially similar work, or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)
• Engaging in sexual harassment or permitting acceptance of or submission to sexual harassment to be a term or condition of employment or the basis of any employment decision affecting an employee, except disciplinary action against an employee for engaging in sexual harassment
• Engaging in or permitting harassment based on gender to substantially interfere with an employee's work performance; to actually interfere with an employee's work performance; or to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment
• Printing or circulating any statement, advertisement, or publication; using an employment application; or making any inquiry in connection with prospective employment that implies or expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination with respect to sex, sexual orientation, or marital status, ...

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