Thursday, November 6, 2008

Milwaukee Third Municipality to Pass Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

Medicalcare This past Tuesday, the voters of the City of Milwaukee overwhelmingly (68%) approved the sick pay ordinance. Under this ordinance, private employers in Milwaukee must provide paid sick leave to workers, who earn the benefit at the rate of one hour of sick pay for every thirty hours of work.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

Employers would have to grant 72 hours of sick leave per calendar year or 40 hours if they have fewer than 10 employees.

Although the ordinance is due to take effect in about 100 days, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has filed notice that it intends to legally challenge the law on numerous grounds, among others, that (1) it is inconsistent with federal and state laws for family and medical leave; and (2) oversteps the city's authority to require sick pay from employers outside the city that have employees living in Milwaukee.

I am no expert on the second issue, but the first ground of challenge seems utterly without merit.  The federal FMLA and state leaves law provide a floor under which no law may go, but states and municipalities have always been free to be more generous, and in this case, provide some paid leave to workers.  The fact that the business group believes the ordinance will cause them economic harm is not grounds for setting the ordinance aside.

I am hopeful that the court deals quickly with this matter so that the ordinance can go into effect when scheduled and start providing much-needed relief for the workers of Milwaukee when they become sick.


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How will this effect attendance policy? If an employee consistently demonstrates poor attendance by simply not showing up for work with no notification to the employer and the employer can not rely on him amy the employer use disciplinary measures to curb this? Under this new policy, can an employee simply not come into work without notification again and again with the employer having no recourse? Even maxing out on total sick leave days allowed, is this employee still able to "No call no show" as many times as he wants using his health as an excuse?

Posted by: david brittain | Nov 18, 2008 11:37:31 AM

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