DEBORAH E MEIER, Complainant
WHISPERING OAKS CARE CENTER, Respondent
An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development (Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations prior to July 1, 1996) issued a decision in this matter on March 19, 1996. A timely petition for review was filed. The commission received the file from the division on March 28, 1997.
The commission has considered the petition and the positions of the parties, and it has reviewed the evidence submitted to the ALJ. Based on its review, the commission agrees with the decision of the ALJ, and it adopts the findings and conclusion in that decision as its own.
The decision of the administrative law judge (copy attached) is affirmed.
Dated and mailed June 4, 1997.
meierde . rsd : 164 : 9
/s/ Pamela I. Anderson, Chairman
/s/ David B. Falstad, Commissioner
In the petition for commission review the complainant's attorney argues that the administrative law judge's decision is clearly erroneous and that the administrative law judge improperly applied the law. However, the complainant's attorney has failed to elaborate upon these assertions and has not specifically explained which conclusions of law are claimed to be in error or why he believes this to be the case. Notwithstanding this, the commission has reviewed the record in order to determine whether the findings of fact and conclusions of law made by the administrative law judge are supported thereby. Based upon this review, the commission concludes that the administrative law judge's factual findings are supported, as is his legal conclusion that the complainant failed to establish she was discriminated against in the manner alleged.
The complainant's attorney also contends that a long and unacceptable delay in the issuance of the administrative law judge's decision deprived the complainant of her due process rights and rendered it impossible for the administrative law judge to properly evaluate the case and give proper weight to the credibility of the witnesses. This argument fails. While the commission agrees that a year-long wait for a decision is a regrettable circumstance, it sees no reason to believe that this delay adversely affected the administrative law judge's ability to decide questions of credibility or that it otherwise resulted in prejudice to the complainant. Moreover, the courts and the commission have consistently held that a delay in the issuance of a decision under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act does not constitute a deprivation of due process and is not a reversible error. See Jones v. Milwaukee County (LIRC, April 6, 1995); Binder v. Nercon Eng. & Mfg. (LIRC, December 18, 1990); Martin v. Industrial Combustion Div. (LIRC, June 4, 1987); Sanchez v. LIRC, Dane Co. Cir. Ct., November 20, 1980; Chicago & N.W.R.R. v. LIRC, 91 Wis. 2d 462, 283 N.W.2d 603 (Ct. App. 1979).
James A. Morrison
Daniel T. Dennehy
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