Travis Hartwig claims that that his employment with U.S. Bank Fund Services was terminated because he was seeking public office. He claims that in June his employer gave Hartwig an ultimatum: leave the race for Wisconsin State Treasurer or leave his position with the Fortune 500 bank.
Hartwig claims that he refused to end his campaign or voluntarily resign from his post and was therefore terminated on July 2nd.
“Large corporations like U.S. Bank cannot bully candidates from seeking public office. Actions like this termination are clearly discriminatory and discourages citizens from involvement in their communities.” Hartwig stated. “I believe in the citizen-legislator. After this irresponsible decision by the bank, 100% of my focus will be on protecting taxpayers of Wisconsin and keeping our state moving forward.”
Hartwig’s Attorney, Nate Cade, plans to file a formal complaint on Hartwig’s behalf with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA).
“The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects an individual’s freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble. Reprimanding and ultimately terminating Mr. Hartwig for his campaign to be Wisconsin’s next State Treasurer punishes him for exercising his First Amendment rights.” Cade stated.
Hartwig’s dispute with his employer is of particular interest to many who argue that citizen representation in government is dying in part due to employer limitations. This creates a slippery slope that could allow employers to limit participation in local governments and school boards across the country, according to Cade. Ironically, another U.S. Bank employee who happens be a state legislator in Minnesota, the home state for U.S. Bank, was praised by the bank recently.
A primary for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer will be held Tuesday, August 14. The general election will be Tuesday, November 6.
Hartwig, who grew up in East Troy, holds a double major in Finance and Business Economics from Carroll University. He was a Mutual Fund Administrator at U.S. Bank Fund Services where one of his primary tasks was preparing financial statements for mutual funds.
Hartwig is running for State Treasurer because he believes that Wisconsin taxpayers need a watchdog. He will use his private sector experience to make the office more efficient and find ways to cut government spending. Hartwig believes that you do a better job of spending your hard-earned money than the government does.