Family Medical Leave Reform To Be Introduced

Sen. Alberta Darling (R – River Hills) and Reps. Joan Ballweg (R – Markesan) and Mike Rohrkaste (R – Neenah) sent out a cosponsorship memo last week asking for support of their federalization of Wisconsin’s Family Medical Leave Law (FMLA).

Wisconsin passed their FMLA law in 1988 under Gov. Thompson prior to President Clinton signing a federal law five years later.  There are significant changes and Wisconsin never updated the law once the federal law was in place.  This has posed significant administrative issues for human resources professionals and added unnecessary costs for compliance.

In their cosponsorship memo, the authors explain the reforms are intended to “remove the red tape in FMLA by adopting federal FMLA for most employers now required to follow both state and federal regulations whenever an employee utilizes leave.” The bill maintains a state family and medical leave provision that allows employees to take leave to care for a spouse, child, parent, domestic partner, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition.  To see the differences in the two laws, the Department of Workforce Development has created a chart.

The authors were seeking cosponsors through October 12th so bill introduction is expected in the near future.