The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act prohibits discrimination against applicants or employees because the individual declines or refuses to participate in religious or political meetings or, more generally, communications.
This includes threatening to terminate, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against an employee as a means of requiring the employee to attend a meeting or participate in a political or religious communication. It also includes terminating or disciplining an employee because the employee declines to attend an employer-sponsored meeting or to participate in any communication with the employer or with an agent, representative, or designee of the employer, the primary purpose of which is to communicate the opinion of the employer about religious matters or political matters.
Political Matter means a political party affiliation, a political campaign, an attempt to influence legislation, or the decision to join or not to join, or to support or not to support, any lawful political group, constituent group, or political or constituent group activity.
Religious Matter means a religious affiliation or the decision to join or not to join, or to support or not to support, any bona fide religious association.
What Is Not Discrimination Based on the Refusal to Participate in Political or Religious Meetings?
There are a number of exceptions and situations that do not qualify as discrimination:
- It is not illegal if attendance or participation in these types of meetings or communications is strictly voluntary.
- It is not illegal if your employer is a non-profit religious association, or an organization or corporation that is primarily owned by a non-profit religious association, and the primary purpose of the meeting is to communicate the employer’s religious beliefs, tenets, or practices.
- It is not illegal if your employer is a political organization, or a political party or organization that engages in political activities, and the primary purpose of the meeting is to communicate the employer’s political tenets or purposes.
- It is not illegal if the primary purpose of the meeting is to communicate information about religious or political matters that your employer is required by law to communicate to you. They can only communicate legally required information, nothing more.
- It is not illegal if a supervisor (executive, managerial, or administrative personnel) has the right to discuss issues relating to the operation of their program, business, or enterprise.
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