Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission (fka Equal Opportunities Commission, per Ordinance 4855) receives, initiates and investigates all complaints alleging discriminatory practice with respect to any discriminatory practice prohibited by City Ordinance.

Powers and Duties 

The Commission has the following powers and duties:

  • To receive, initiate, and investigate all complaints alleging discriminatory practice with respect to any discriminatory practice prohibited by this article;
  • To appoint mediators for informal conferences;
  • To hold hearings after efforts at settlement, based on complaints made against any person and a determination of probable cause; to administer oaths and take testimony; to compel the production of books, papers and any other documents relating to any matters involved in the complaint; and to subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance. If a witness either fails or refuses to obey a subpoena issued by the Commission, the Commission may order attendance. At any time after it has issued such an order, the Commission may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for its enforcement; 
  • To issue, after hearing, such final orders as are necessary to promote the purposes of this article;
  • Subject to hearing and due process and except as to the City, its officers, employees, boards, commissions and committees, to issue temporary orders effective for a maximum of 20 days, absent extraordinary circumstances, restraining the respondent from taking any action which would tend to render ineffectual or unenforceable any order which the Commission might issue;
  • To refer orders to the City Attorney to be enforced by the City Attorney in the name of the City of La Crosse;
  • To make written minutes, temporary and final orders, and all decisions and opinions rendered available to the public;
  • To require a written report of the manner of compliance with any final order it may issue;
  • To recommend to the Mayor and the Common Council any legislation necessary to further promote the purposes of this article, and to file annual written reports of its work to the Mayor and the Common Council on or before June 30 of each year;
  • To enter into cooperative agreements with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division which agreements shall provide that the City of La Crosse Human Rights Commission shall refer those complaints which are covered under Wisconsin Housing or Public Accommodation laws which would require significant investigation and which would exceed the annual budget of the Commission;
  •  To educate the people of La Crosse regarding all types of discrimination;
  • To keep confidential the complaint, the investigation, inquiry and proceedings relative to complaints filed with the Commission.
  • To collaborate with other public or private agencies, organizations and individuals in the community to eliminate discrimination and inequalities within the City;
  • To monitor City government activities, specifically employment and program execution to eliminate discrimination and inequalities:
    • With the collaboration of all departments, the department of Human Resources may provide the Commission information regarding employment statistics as well as efforts and activities regarding equal employment opportunity.
    • The Commission may also work with all other City departments to ensure program execution is being compliant with regard to City of La Crosse Ordinance Section 22-27.

Important Links

Members

The Human Rights Commission consists of eight members, one of whom shall be a member of the Common Council. Members shall be appointed from among the residents of the city and shall be committed to the principle of equal opportunities.

Contact Information

Jason Gilman
Human Rights Commission Secretary
400 La Crosse Street, La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 789-7362
Email Link