Discriminatory Promotion Claims


I think I did not get the promotion because I'm a woman, how do I prove it?


Wisconsin courts interpreting the Fair Employment Law follow the Federal Title VII standard for establishing a claim for discrimination in promotion.


To prove a claim of wrongful denial of promotion, you must prove all of the following:
(1) you are a member of a protected class (i.e., a woman);
(2) you applied for a position for which you are qualified;
(3) you were denied the promotion; and
(4) the position was left open and your employer continued to seek applicants having your qualifications.


Must I show that I took proactive steps to get the promotion, and that I was qualified?


Yes. You must show that you were qualified and that you applied for the promotion. If a position requires two years of relevant experience, and you have two or more years of experience, you are qualified for the position.


Must I show that my employer sought a replacement with similar qualifications?


To win on your claim, you can show that an equally qualified man (in terms of experience, education and skill level) was given the promotion that you were seeking, or that in the past men of equal qualifications were given promotions. You can also use statistics to show a pattern of sex discrimination in promotion if you can show that men were promoted more often than women even when they are equally qualified.


What could my employer do to deny my allegations, and how do I respond to their denials?


Your employer can deny your allegations by giving a legitimate reason why you were not promoted. For example, your employer might claim that you were not promoted because of poor performance evaluations or other work related problems.You must respond to your employer's denials by showing that the reasons offered by the employer were only excuses and that you were really denied promotion because of your gender.


Does it matter how many employees my employer has?


No, the WFEA applies to all employers regardless of the number of employees.


If I prove my wrongfully denied promotion claim, what kind of remedies am I entitled to?


You may be entitled to injunctive or monetary relief. However, remedies vary from case to case. See remedies.




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