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Wisconsin gets a “C” for family leave protections

As readers of our Milwaukee employment law blog know, the Family and Medical Leave Act protects eligible workers in a wide variety of situations requiring time away from the workplace. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to care for a child or spouse, deal with their own health problem or care for a newborn baby, among other conditions.

A new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families measures family benefits on a state-by-state basis, evaluating how states have gone above and beyond the FMLA (or not gone above and beyond). The 81-page assessment gives Wisconsin a passing grade of C.

The report hails Wisconsin for giving workers greater access to family disability leave under state law than the federal FMLA. It notes that Wisconsin's protections go to workers with companies with 50 or more employees, provided the worker has been with the company for at least one year and put in at least 1,000 hours in the past year.

The report also says that state workers can get up to 6 months of unpaid maternity leave, as well as leave for paternity, adoption and pre-adoptive foster care.

State workers can also use sick time to care for an ill or injured member of the family, including a pregnant spouse.

Despite Wisconsin's strides in providing protections to workers and their families, we still see examples of violations of rights and denials of protected FMLA benefits. If you have been denied leave or suffered retaliation by your employer after you took FMLA leave, you can have a confidential discussion with a Milwaukee employment law attorney about protecting your rights.

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