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Wisconsin Legislature Preempts Local Enactment of Wage and Hour Regulations

Joining more than two dozen other states that have barred local enactment of minimum wage or other employment laws, on March 22, 2018 the Wisconsin legislature passed Assembly Bill 748, intended to promote statewide uniformity in the regulation of employment practices. AB 748 prevents local governments and municipalities from enacting and enforcing their own ordinances relating to various employment matters, including several areas pertaining to wage and hour law. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the Bill into law in the near future.

Seventh Circuit Decision Reminds Employers to Comply With More Favorable State Wage and Hour Laws.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Wisconsin employers must pay employees for pre- and post-shift activities, despite the existence of a collective bargaining agreement where the parties agreed that such time is not compensable. Spoerle v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., --- F.3d ----, 2010 WL 2990830 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court reasoned that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not preempt a more favorable Wisconsin state law.

New Wisconsin Employee Misclassification Bills.

In May, Governor Jim Doyle signed Senate Bill 672 and Assembly Bill 929 which both address misclassification of employees. Although neither law is binding on employers in other states, employers should expect to see similar laws and initiatives in their respective states as both federal and state agencies ramp up their enforcement on worker misclassification.