YVONNE MCGEE, Complainant
COUNTY OF MILWAUKEE, Respondent
On February 2, 2006, the Equal Rights Division sent correspondence by certified mail to Yvonne McGee at her last known address, 1334 North Hawley Road, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208. The correspondence stated that the ERD had held her case in abeyance while she pursued the matter with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and that the ERD had been advised that her case had been dismissed by the EEOC. The correspondence advised Ms. McGee that it was now necessary for her to respond to the ERD's letter, and provided her with the options of signing a statement requesting that the Division close her ERD file if the matter had been settled or she wished to withdraw her case, or, if she would like for the ERD to do an independent investigation of her complaint, making a separate written request for this investigation which must be received by February 22, 2006. Finally, the correspondence advised Ms. McGee that if the ERD did not receive a response to this letter by February 22, 2006, her case would be dismissed pursuant to section 11 1.39(3) of the Wisconsin Statutes.
On February 22, 2006, the Equal Rights Division received the February 2 certified mail it had sent to Ms. McGee back from the Post Office. The certified letter was stamped, "RETURNED TO SENDER-UNCLAIMED," "NOTIFIED FEB 03 2006", and "FINAL NOTICE" with the date "2-18" written underneath.
On March 3, 2006, the department issued an order dismissing Ms. McGee's complaint because she had failed to respond to a certified letter within the specified time. Subsequently, on March 7, 2006, the ERD received a written letter of appeal from Ms. McGee in which she included an assertion that she had never received the certified letter
This matter was then assigned to an administrative law judge for the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development, who concluded that Ms. McGee had failed to pick up or respond to the "20 day letter", and therefore affirmed the department's order of dismissal.
In response to correspondence from the commission inquiring about her failure to timely respond to the department's certified letter Ms. McGee has again indicated that she never received the department's certified mail. The commission believes that due process considerations require that Ms. McGee receive a hearing on her assertion that she never received notice of the department's certified mail.
Accordingly, the Labor and Industry Review Commission hereby issues the following:
The decision of the administrative law judge is set aside. This matter is remanded to the Equal Rights Division for a hearing and determination on Ms. McGee's claim that she never received notice of the departments certified mail, and, further proceedings on her complaint of discrimination should her claim be found to be credible.
Dated and mailed August 18, 2006
mcgeeyv . rpr : 125 : 9
/s/ James T. Flynn, Chairman
/s/ Robert Glaser, Commissioner
/s/ Ann L. Crump, Commissioner
cc: Attorney Roy L. Williams
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