Archive for April 6th, 2012

Legislation Repealing Punitive and Compensatory Damages under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act Officially Becomes Law

Friday, April 6th, 2012

In a victory for Wisconsin businesses, Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Senate Bill 202, which repeals punitive and compensatory damages under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.

In 2009, Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law 2009 Wisconsin Act 20, which for the first time imposed punitive and compensatory damages in discrimination cases under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. WCJC scored yet another major victory by helping pass Senate Bill 202, which repeals Act 20.

Contrary to claims being made by SB 202’s opponents, this legislation does NOT take away equal pay for women or any other protected class. Once the new law goes into effect, employees alleging workplace discrimination can still sue at the state level and seek the following remedies:

  • Reinstatement;
  • Back  pay up to two years;
  • Attorney fees and reasonable court costs.
  • Moreover, employees can elect to sue in federal court, where they can still seek punitive and compensatory damages.

Senate Bill 202, now 2011 Wis. Act 219, protects Wisconsin businesses from meritless and costly lawsuits by returning the law as it was in 2009.