Wisconsin Legislature Preempts Local Enactment of Wage and Hour Regulations
Joining more than two dozen other states that have barred local enactment of minimum wage or other employment laws, on March 22, 2018 the Wisconsin legislature passed Assembly Bill 748, intended to promote statewide uniformity in the regulation of employment practices. AB 748 prevents local governments and municipalities from enacting and enforcing their own ordinances relating to various employment matters, including several areas pertaining to wage and hour law. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the Bill into law in the near future. In addition to precluding local counties and municipalities from enacting ordinances regulating “labor peace” agreements, requiring more stringent occupational licensing, or mandating employer provision of pension or other benefits, AB 748 prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting laws:
- Regarding employee work hours and overtime, including shift schedules. However, certain ordinances regulating business operating hours or the work hours of certain traveling sales crew workers are excluded;
- Prohibiting employers from requesting salary history information from prospective employees;
- Establishing minimum wages for local government employees, contract employees or employee work that is funded by financial assistance from the local governmental unit. This provision supplements existing Wisconsin law, passed more than a decade ago, prohibiting local jurisdictions from enacting minimum wage laws related to private employers; or
- Regulating “wage claims or collections.” Investigation of disputes regarding such claims will remain the purview of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.
Notably, in a last-minute amendment to the Bill, local counties and municipalities will not be precluded from enacting and enforcing employment discrimination laws that provide greater protection than those provided under Wisconsin law.