Understanding the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act

A Wisconsin employee may face issues at times that demand personal attention. In the past, personal time might be taken to address these issues, but those who did not have such time built into their terms of employment could face negative work-related consequences for missing work to deal with family issues. However, the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act facilitates these needs in certain work environments without employees having to worry about being penalized.

The Wisconsin legislation in general covers employers with at least 50 permanent employees. Under the Act, employees may take up to six weeks off during a calendar year in connection with adoption or the birth of a child. This provision is available to both men and women. An employee may also take two weeks of leave during the year to take care of a domestic partner, parent, child or spouse. Similarly, up to two weeks of leave is allowable for personal needs to address a serious health issue. These employment rights may not be denied or limited under the state law. Additionally, an employer may not discriminate against an employee who files a complaint or assists with an investigation related to the law.

Employers with at least 50 employees must post a state poster related to these rights in a minimum of one conspicuous location. Fines may be imposed for failing to post this information.

It is important for an employee who believes that Wisconsin FMLA rights have been violated to understand that a 30-day statute of limitations exists. A complaint may be filed with the state’s Equal Rights Division if a violation has occurred. It may also be helpful to discuss one’s concerns with an employment lawyer.

Source: Wisconsin.gov, “Labor Law“, September 19, 2014

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