If you drive west of Milwaukee on Interstate 94 for about 90 miles, you'll arrive in Middleton. The Madison suburb calls itself "The Good Neighbor City," but a former high school employee says she was subjected to racial discrimination and retaliation there.
The former administrative assistant to the dean of students said her civil rights were violated when the school district passed her over for a job because she's a white woman. She recently filed a gender and race discrimination lawsuit against the Middleton-Cross Plains School District in federal court. Such claims are sometimes referred to as "reverse-discrimination."
According to the lawsuit, the dean of students told his former assistant that she had "no chance" to fill any of the open jobs at Middleton High because, he said, "we need more diversity."
The former employee claims that when she expressed interest in several open jobs, the dean told her "we need some big black men working here." The three open positions were later filled with two black men and a black woman, the suit states.
The assistant had worked for the school district for about a decade when she was told her position was being restructured. It was then that she began inquiring about three open positions on the school's campus and student support team.
Two days after she was told she had "no chance," she filed an internal racial discrimination complaint and submitted an application for the job. Even though she had previously held a similar position in the district, the dean "refused to grant her an interview," her suit alleges.
She was then informed in a meeting with supervisors of performance issues "arising from years earlier." A day later, she was fired, she says in her lawsuit.
Wisconsin law and federal law both prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of race or gender. Speak with an attorney at Milwaukee's Alan C. Olson and Associates if you face unlawful discrimination in the workplace.