September 21, 2020

Volume X, Number 265

September 18, 2020

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Walker Budget Axes Wisconsin’s Independent Employment Review Agency

Calling it an “unnecessary layer of government,” Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 biennial budget proposal calls for the complete elimination of Wisconsin’s Labor & Industry Review Commission (LIRC). LIRC has existed in its current form since 1977.

As an independent, quasi-judicial agency of the State of Wisconsin, LIRC was established to provide a fair and impartial review of state Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decisions involving unemployment insurance, worker's compensation, fair employment and public accommodation cases. LIRC is comprised of three Commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor for staggered six-year terms and subject to Senate approval.

LIRC reviews thousands of ALJ decisions each year and its decisions are appealable to Wisconsin’s circuit courts.

Under the Governor’s budget proposal, LIRC’s responsibilities would be shifted to individual Division Administrators in the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Significantly, the Governor’s budget proposal is merely the beginning of the state budget process. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will next develop its own version of the state budget. We will continue to monitor the status of this proposal as the Legislature works to finalize a budget later this summer.

Copyright © 2020 Godfrey & Kahn S.C.National Law Review, Volume VII, Number 46


About this Author

Aaron McCann, Godfrey Kahn Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Aaron McCann is an associate in the firm’s Green Bay office and a member of the Labor, Employment & Immigration Practice Group. Aaron’s practice is focused on counseling and advocating for employers through all aspects of an employment relationship, beginning with issues in recruitment and hiring at the outset and continuing through severance discussions, termination, and, when necessary, post-employment litigation. Aaron has guided many clients through the wide array of legal issues that frequently arise at the end of employment and has represented clients in...