Cross Law Firm announced Wednesday, April 17, it has filed an equal rights complaint against the city of Stevens Point on behalf of Kelly Reith, the city’s former assistant streets superintendent.
The complaint, which the law firm said it filed Tuesday, April 16, with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division (ERD), alleges the city terminated Reith’s employment in retaliation for his opposition to alleged marital status discrimination.
“Reith claims he was terminated within 24 hours of sending a Jan. 17, 2013, email to Mayor Andrew Halverson objecting that married persons were favored under the city’s new Wellness Incentive Program,” the firm said in a press release. “Marital status discrimination is prohibited in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Law protects employees from retaliation for opposing discriminatory treatment covered by the law, including marital status discrimination.
The ERD describes the protection against retaliation as follows, “An employer is prohibited from retaliating against any employee who files a complaint, attempts to enforce a right permitted by statute, or testifies in a case, or assists in a case under the state’s fair employment laws. The law’s protections also apply if an employer takes an adverse employment action against the employee because that employer believes the employee has exercised any of the above rights.”
“This is your classic case of retaliation,” Noah Reinstein, Reith’s Wausau attorney, said in a statement. “Mr. Reith identified something he believed was discriminatory, he made a polite objection, and he was terminated in response.”