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Complaint to be filed over at-work political email

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UNDATED (WSAU)  An advocacy group plans to file a complaint with state elections’ officials today about an e-mail that a Milwaukee executive sent to his employees about the presidential contest.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin said Michael White of Rite-Hite tried to intimidate workers last week. His memo told employees to understand the quote, “personal consequences” to them if President Obama is re-elected. Among other things, he said the company’s health insurance and retirement contributions might have to end due to higher taxes. White said he respected the workers’ right to vote for who they choose, but he said he was just trying to present the facts as he knows them.

Mike Wilder of Citizen Action called on White to retract the e-mail, and apologize to workers at his industrial equipment manufacturing company. Media reports say a number of U-S business leaders are bringing up political concerns to their employees, but a Wisconsin election law bans employers from discussing certain subjects.

After White’s memo was publicized last week, the state Government Accountability Board said it would be up to the local district attorney to file charges. And the Milwaukee County D-A said it would be interested in hearing from employees and from White.

Rite-Hite has refused public comment on the e-mail.

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