The cost of complying with human resources and employment regulations is significant for all employers. WMC believes Wisconsin should streamline employment regulations, address the growing medical costs associated with Worker’s Compensation, and ensure a level playing field in the state’s labor laws.
HR & Employment
WMC engages with the Department of Workforce Development and lawmakers on potential changes to the Unemployment Insurance system each legislative session. Our priorities must focus on policies that will maintain the integrity of the unemployment system, ensure workers who truly are out of work through no fault of their own are eligible for benefits while searching for new work, and to keep unemployment insurance taxes low for employers.
The state should acknowledge that the unemployment rate has a direct impact on unemployed workers’ ability to find new work by connecting the number of weeks of unemployment benefits to the unemployment rate. As the unemployment rate increases or decreases, so does the availability of jobs. The number of weeks of unemployment benefits should also increase or decrease accordingly.
Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Insurance and the Department of Revenue each have their own criteria for determining if someone is an employee or an independent contractor. This causes great confusion for all involved, especially with the expanding gig economy. Wisconsin should streamline the classification of independent contractors and make the definitions and criteria used uniform across state government.
Governor Thompson signed Wisconsin’s FMLA in 1988. President Clinton signed the federal FMLA in 1993. A harmonization of our state law and federal law has never taken place, leaving Wisconsin companies to deal with two sets of rules. Exempting employers who must follow federal regulations from the state law would remove the burden of complying with both laws, and remove confusion resulting from compliance with two overlapping and conflicting leave laws.
Like FMLA, state and federal law differs when it comes to wage and hour standards. Items like how lunch breaks are treated, travel time, changing clothes and overtime should be federalized so that workers and employers have one set of rules to follow instead of two.
Workers today demand flexibility, and many employers are meeting that demand by allowing flexible schedules to hourly and salaried workers alike. In doing so, many hourly workers are now given employer-provided smart devices. Wisconsin should ensure that preliminary activities, such as de minimis time spent checking emails and calendars on smart devices, do not count toward compensable hours worked.
HR & Employment
WMC Joins Employer Rights Act Coalition in Urging Congress to Support the Employee Rights Act of 2022
WMC and other business associations wrote a letter to Congress to urge them to support the Employee Rights Act of 2022. This legislation will empower
WMC’s Director of Workforce, Education and Employment Policy Rachel Ver Velde, submitted testimony in support of AB 911, the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council’s agreed upon
WMC’s Executive Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley testified at the Assembly Committee on Labor & Integrated Employment in support ofAB 910, SB 897,and