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Retaliation: Wisconsin

Retaliation requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Jerilyn Jacobs and Michael Mishlove, Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP


  • The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) tracks the federal law in a number of ways. However, there are several key differences from Title VII, the ADA or the ADEA. See Retaliation Under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.
  • Investigation and adjudication of complaints under the WFEA are handled at the state agency level by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division (ERD or Division), and complainants cannot opt out and directly avail themselves of state court instead. Appeals of ERD decisions are taken to the State Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC or Commission), and parties are entitled to seek judicial review in state court of final LIRC decisions. See Complaint Process Under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.
  • The remedies for a violation of the WFEA are different than under Title VII. See Remedies Under the WFEA.
  • Localities including Madison and Milwaukee have requirements pertaining to retaliation. See Local Requirements.