Senator Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Representative Hutton (R- Brookfield) have introduced a harmful bill that, if passed, will preempt many ways in which local governments in Wisconsin could enhance employment standards in their own communities.
Senate Bill 634 & Assembly Bill 748 would make sweeping changes to how working people can increase fairness and justice within work places.
On Wednesday, January 10, Wisconsin AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Stephanie Bloomingdale was at the Capitol to testify at the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform against the bill.
“Senate Bill 634 would preempt local policies that help working families make ends meet, plan child care, and seek justice when discrimination occurs,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “A host of local ordinances that help working families raise wages, combat wage theft, access predictable scheduling and paid sick leave would all be stopped from being implemented at the local level under this bill. Foolishly, this Republican-backed bill would prevent future creative ordinances developed by local leaders and communities working together to address the unique and individual needs in their own communities from being considered.”
“This bill is a slap in the face to Wisconsin working men and women, many of whom are juggling multiple jobs or working in the on-demand economy riddled with precarious scheduling and low paychecks,” continued Bloomingdale. “Instead of working together to create good jobs and uplifting economic opportunities for Wisconsin workers, Senator Kapenga and Representative Hutton are working overtime to stack the deck against working families and further rig the rules of our economy against everyday working people in order to payback their rich campaign donors.”
Summary of the restrictions under SB 634 & AB 748 is as follows:
- This bill not only prohibits local governments from utilizing labor peace agreements, but sets a criminal penalty if a municipality passes an ordinance requiring a labor peace agreement.
- This bill would end an opportunity that allows local governments to set a minimum wage for employees who are contracted to perform work for the local government.
- This bill would prohibit local governments from enforcing license regulations that are more strict than the state standards for that license.
- This bill would prohibit local governments from enacting or enforcing employment discrimination standards.
- This bill would prohibit local governments from forcing contractors to agree to a mandatory labor peace agreement in order to receive a license or permit.
- The bill would create a statewide standard for employee scheduling of hours and overtime regulations, and would prohibit local governments from passing fair scheduling ordinances.
- This bill would prohibit local governments from setting a level of employment benefits for employers, for example mandating certain time off or retirement benefits.
- This bill would prohibit local governments from passing an ordinance to prohibit employers from asking about salary history.
- This bill would prohibit local governments from creating agencies to handle wage claims, or complaints about wage theft.