State Law: Wyoming

 

The Law

Codified in Wyoming Statutes Title 27, Chapter 9, The Wyoming Fair Employment Practices Act, makes it illegal for an employer or labor organization to discriminate against someone on the basis of sex.

 

The Fair Employment Practices Act defines "employer" as, "the state of Wyoming or any political subdivision or board, commission, department, institution or school district thereof, and every other person employing two (2) or more employees within the state; but it does not mean religious organizations or associations."

 

Thus, the Wyoming statute against discrimination in the workplace applies to employers with two or more employees, while Title VII only applies to employers with 15+ employees.

 

The Fair Employment Practices Act specifically covers employment discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry.

 

Filing A Complaint

The Wyoming Department of Employment Labor Standards Division investigates complaints filed with it free of charge. Complaints under state law must be filed within 90 days of the date you became aware you were being discriminated against or the date of the alleged illegal act. You may file a complaint with the Commission by calling or visiting one the two main offices:

 


Cheyenne Office

1510 E. Pershing Blvd., Ste 2015

Cheyenne, WY 82002

(307) 777-7261

 


Casper Office

851 Werner Court, Suite 292

Casper, WY 82601

(307) 472-3974

 

A Compliance Office will talk with you about your allegations and prepare a charge of discrimination for you to sign. Once you file a complaint with the Commission, the Commission will send your employer a letter and a copy of your complaint, stating that you believe you were/are being discriminated against. The employer will have an opportunity to respond to this complaint.

 

A Compliance Officer will be assigned to your case, who will investigate your allegations and act as a neutral decision-maker to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe you have been discriminated against and your rights violated.

 

If reasonable cause is found, you and your employer will be asked to attempt to negotiate a settlement through the Commission's conciliation proceedings. If settlement negotiations fail, one of three things could happen. Litigation can be pursued on your behalf, a hearing will be held under state law, or a Right to Sue letter will be issued to you so you can file a claim in federal district court.

 

If you choose to settle with the employer, the Commission cannot force the employer to agree to the terms of the voluntary settlement unless your case is successful in court.

 

You may decide to go through the federal court process instead of the Commission's investigative process. You must first file with the EEOC and request a Notice of Right to Sue in order to file in federal court. The attorney you hire will explain this process to you. There is no private right of action in Wyoming for discrimination claims, which means that only the Commission may file this type of claim in state court. Many Wyoming attorneys thus choose to file employment discrimination claims in federal court under federal law.

 

For more information and a more detailed explanation of the complaint process, please visit the Wyoming Department of Employment website.