HEATHER HINKFORTH, Complainant
MILWAUKEE AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE, Respondent
An administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development issued a decision in this matter. A timely petition for review was filed.
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 February 23, 2004
hinkfhe2 . rsd : 164 : 9
/s/ David B. Falstad, Chairman
/s/ James T. Flynn, Commissioner
/s/ Robert Glaser, Commissioner
In her petition for commission review the complainant argues that the administrative law judge denied her due process and acted on behalf of the respondent when he entered information appropriate to the technical college system in the State of Wisconsin which the respondent did not submit with any of its documentation. However, the complainant has not elaborated upon this assertion, and the commission is uncertain what information the complainant believes was relied upon inappropriately by the administrative law judge. The commission has reviewed the administrative law judge's order, but sees no reason to conclude that it was predicated on any factual information gleaned from sources other than those documents submitted by the parties, nor does it see any other reason to believe that the decision resulted in the denial of due process to the complainant.
The question presented in this case is whether the department has jurisdiction over the complainant's complaint of discrimination on the part of the respondent, with whom she had no actual or potential employment relationship, but at which she was taking courses in conjunction with her apprenticeship program. The administrative law judge granted the respondent's motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (hereinafter "Act.") The commission agrees with that decision. While there can be instances in which the department will have jurisdiction over a claim of discrimination, even in the absence of an actual or potential employment relationship between the parties, in this case the complainant has not alleged that the respondent engaged in actions which were directly related to her employment opportunities, such as would fall within the purview of the Act. The complainant's allegations are essentially that she was subjected to harassing conduct on the part of her fellow students, which led her to drop a class, and that the respondent further harassed her by giving her a failing mark in a class she dropped rather than indicating that she had withdrawn. The discriminatory conduct prohibited by the Act includes refusing to hire, employ, admit or license any individual, barring or terminating from employment or labor organization membership any individual, or discriminating against any individual in promotion, compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment or labor organization membership. See Wis. Stat. § 111.322(1). The complainant's allegations do not fall within the enumerated conduct. Accordingly, the administrative law judge's order is affirmed.
Attorney Scott C. Baumbach
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