UW-La Crosse: Dismiss discrimination complaints

Jay Lokken alleges UWL forced him to take a different position at the university

UW-La Crosse wants a second employee discrimination complaint filed this year to be dismissed.

An employee filed the complaint with the state Department of Workforce Development in September, alleging discrimination and retaliation.

The university submitted its response this week.

In the complaint Jay Lokken, who is the former director of the office of International education, alleges UWL put extra scrutiny on him and eventually forced him to take a different position at the university.

Lokken says it was in response for his help on the first discrimination complaint filed this year where one of his employees believes she was passed over for a promotion because of her age and marital status.

The university’s response to Lokken’s complaint says the office of international education was already under extra supervision for failing to fill a recruitment position, having a budget deficit of more than $200,000, and being the subject of numerous complaints filed by other faculty and staff. Those included lack of respect, poor communication, fear of retaliation, and threatening behaviors.

The university’s investigation says Lokken agreed to the position transfer after the director job had become too complex for him to handle and not because of his involvement in the other complaint.

UWL asked for the first discrimination complaint to be dismissed back in October.

The department of workforce development will continue its investigation into both complaints.