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Still “Open for Business” – New Wisconsin Legislation to Preempt Most Local Employment Ordinances

April 2, 2018


Adam-Paul John Tuzzo and Jonathan O. Levine,

March 27, 2018-

In recent years, cities, counties, and other local government bodies across the country have enacted ordinances increasing the minimum wage, granting paid and unpaid sick leave, placing restrictions on how employees are scheduled, and requiring employers to enter into “labor peace agreements” with unions. As this activity has intensified, employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions within a state or across multiple states have been confronted with the onerous task of complying with a patchwork of conflicting employment rules. Wisconsin is about to join the list of over a dozen states that have taken action to preempt local governments from passing such ordinances.

Wisconsin’s state legislature recently passed AB 748, which generally prohibits “local government units” (including cities, villages, towns, counties, and other political subdivisions) from enacting or enforcing ordinances addressing key labor and employment matters. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign it into law. Key provisions of this bill are briefly summarized below.

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