The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that Wisconsin wage and hours laws concerning the compensability of meal periods empower employers to require that such breaks be unpaid. In Wirth v. RLJ Dental,1 the court focused on whether the employer provided a qualifying meal break in
Articles About Wisconsin Labor And Employment Law.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Overturns Exception for Domestic Violence Crimes Under ‘Substantially Related’ Defense to Discrimination Claims
On March 10, 2022, the Wisconsin Supreme Court released its decision in Cree, Inc. v. Labor and Industry Review Commission, which provides significant clarity for employers evaluating whether a domestic-related crime of an employee or applicant is substantially related to a job and thus a lawful reason for discharging or
Wisconsin Supreme Court Eases the Burden for Employers Defending Arrest and Conviction Record Discrimination Claims Under State Law
The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of their arrest and conviction records.1 Generally, an employer cannot make decisions on the basis of an arrest or conviction record unless the crimes “substantially relate” to the circumstances of the job
What’s New with Cannabis Compliance in Wisconsin? The Legal, The Illegal, and the Gray Area for Wisconsin Employers
The Wisconsin legislature appears poised to reject a proposal to create a medical marijuana program this legislative session, just a month after the Senate shot down a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
City of Milwaukee Passes Ordinance Requiring Masks to Be Worn in Indoor Public Spaces
On January 18, 2022, the City of Milwaukee Common Council passed an ordinance that would require masks to be worn indoors until March 1, 2022. The city’s acting mayor has not yet signed the order, but he has signaled that he is likely to do so.
LIRC’s View of the ‘Substantially Related’ Defense to Arrest and Conviction Record Discrimination Claims: Will Recent Events in Waukesha Prompt Change?
Wisconsin is one of a limited number of states that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of arrest or conviction records. The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) protects “properly qualified individuals” from unlawful discrimination “by reason of their … arrest record[s] [or] conviction record[s].” Employers defending against claims of
Wisconsin Supreme Court Limits Tort Claims Related to Conduct Following Worker’s Compensation Injury
On May 20, 2021, the Wisconsin Supreme Court limited the tort claims an employee may bring based on alleged conduct that occurred between injuries covered under the state’s workers’ compensation law. The opinion in Graef v. Continental Indemnity Company may support employer arguments to limit employment-related litigation claims brought by
Wisconsin Legislature Expressly Authorizes Electronic Tip Declarations
Like the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Wisconsin law allows hospitality employers to pay certain tipped employees less than the minimum wage with the understanding that the tips they receive will cover the difference. More specifically, Wisconsin law allows employers to claim a tip credit of up to $4.92 per
Wisconsin Wage and Hour Law: Rounding Employee Time
Wage and hour claims, particularly those asserting class or collective violations, comprise a significant percentage of employment law claims across the country, and Wisconsin is no exception. Improper rounding and other timecard policies frequently are the culprit in such claims against employers.
Wage and hour lawsuits, whether individual or class/collective
Wisconsin Joins States Providing Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19 Exposure
On February 25, 2021, Wisconsin joined Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming in enacting a COVID-19 litigation shield law. Governor Tony Evers signed a bill providing entities broad immunity from “civil liability for the death
New Wisconsin Law Provides Immunity from COVID-19 Liability, With Limited Exceptions
On February 25, 2021, Wisconsin enacted a new law designed to help reduce ambiguity regarding COVID-19-related liability. The statute (Wis. Stat. § 895.476), which became effective on February 27, 2021, gives certain entities broad immunity from civil liability related to COVID-19 unless they acted recklessly or engaged in wanton conduct or
Wisconsin Passes COVID-19 Civil Liability Exemption for Employers
Businesses, schools, nonprofits, and other employers in Wisconsin are protected from COVID-19 litigation under 2021 Special Session Senate Bill 1, signed into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 4 by Governor Tony Evers on February 26, 2021. Section 8 of the new law provides employers some of the most expansive COVID-19 civil liability protections in the country.
Madison Takes ‘Pot’shot at Wisconsin, Joins Growing List of Municipalities to Decriminalize Cannabis
In November 2020, the Common Council for the City of Madison, Wisconsin, passed ordinances decriminalizing the possession and use of small amounts of cannabis or cannabis derivatives within city limits.
New Separation Notice Requirement for Wisconsin Employers
Beginning November 2, 2020, Wisconsin employers will be required to notify workers at separation about the availability of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits pursuant to an emergency rule recently issued by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).
New Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Charging Process Requires Immediate Employer Action
In mid-April, the Wisconsin legislature enacted Act 185, making a host of changes to the state unemployment insurance (UI) program. One particularly helpful change for Wisconsin employers ensured that the cost of initial UI benefit claims filed for weeks after March 12, 2020 and before December 31, 2020 would