Health Care Connection: Legislative Update

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Besides the ongoing work on the state budget, several legislative proposals are currently pending before the Legislature that will impact health care providers.

FMLA Federalization: WMC has heard from employers for over 20 years, including hospitals, that Wisconsin should federalize our FMLA law. Governor Thompson signed WI’s law in 1988, and President Bill Clinton signed the federal leave law in 1993. The issue Wisconsin employers have faced ever since is that the two laws have never been harmonized, leaving HR professionals to wade through the differences. WMC is working with lawmakers to address this issue by exempting employers from the state law if they provide leave under the federal law. Learn more here.

Interstate Compact Licensing Bill: A proposal from State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah) would make it easier for medical providers to get licensed in multiple states. This is especially important for providers who live and work near the border with our neighboring states and who interact with patients and clinics across state borders on a regular basis.

Non-Compete Reform: WMC is leading an effort to rewrite Wisconsin’s restrictive covenant law. Under current law, if a non-compete agreement is challenged and found by a court to have a provision that is too broad than what is needed to protect legitimate business interests, the court is required to throw out the entire non-compete agreement. Most states allow judges to “blue pencil” provisions of non-compete agreements that are found to be too broad. Blue penciling ensures that intellectual property, assets and trade secrets will be protected by courts even if specific sections of a non-compete agreement are too broad and need to be reduced in scope by a court.