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Milwaukee stands with Madison, others on local employment law

On one side is the city of Milwaukee, along with the city of Madison, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Dane County and a number of labor unions and workers' rights organizations. On the other side are business lobbyists including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Bankers Association.

The two sides are battling over a proposed law that would stop Wisconsin cities and counties from enforcing their own employment laws that involve wages, hours, benefits and discrimination in the workplace.

Sen. Chris Kapenga, one of the bill's authors, said the proposal would prevent Wisconsin from "becoming a patchwork quilt of employment laws." He added he wants the state to buck what he says is a trend among local governments of "burdening employees and employers alike with excessive regulation."

Madison's civil rights director said that if enacted, the proposal would stop the city from banning discrimination based on “gender identity, non-religion, homelessness, source of income, Social Security number, physical appearance, political beliefs, student status, domestic partners, citizenship, unemployment status, and credit history."

The bill would also prevent municipalities from establishing local minimum wages.

Sen. Janis Ringhand and Rep. Sondy Pope said a second legislative proposal would harm employees by rescinding some provisions of Wisconsin's Family and Medical Leave Act.

While we don't take political positions in this space, we do stand shoulder to shoulder with workers who have suffered discrimination based on their gender, race, age, disability, religion or national origin.

Contact the employment law attorneys of Alan C. Olson & Associates for more information.

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