Milwaukee’s Marcus Center accused of age and disability discrimination

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is one of the focal points of Milwaukee’s arts community. For more than 50 years, the facility has been home to arts organizations that include the city’s renowned Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Children’s Theater and others.

Not everything behind the curtains is as beautiful as what appears on the Marcus Center’s stages, however, the organization’s former controller and IT manager says. In an age and disability discrimination lawsuit, Cindy Schaefer alleges that Marcus Center management violated Wisconsin employment law on multiple occasions.

The 62-year-old former controller said she was denied an earned promotion to finance director and harassed at the Marcus Center before her position was eliminated. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division has granted a formal hearing on the matter, stating that the Marcus might have violated the state’s Fair Employment Law by discriminating against Schaefer and retaliating against her after she complained about unfair treatment.

Schaefer told the Milwaukee Business Journal that she worked at the Marcus for 33 years before she was fired. She said that in all those years, she never had a negative job review and that she’d been denied her goal of retiring from the arts organization.

Schaefer also states in her suit that she was discriminated against because of her anxiety-based disability.

The Department of Workforce Development says its initial determination is that age was a factor in a number of areas, including the decision not to promote Schaefer, her workplace treatment and in her eventual termination.

If you have been denied a promotion, raise or job because of your age or disability, contact the law offices of Alan C. Olson and Associates to talk over your legal options.


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