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Employment Laws in Wisconsin

Filed under Office & HR.

Employers in Wisconsin must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employee does not include an individual employed by his or her parents, spouse or child.

Employer means any activity, enterprise or business employing at least one individual, but does not mean a social club or fraternal society if the particular job is advertised only within the membership.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Discrimination in employment practices on the following bases is unlawful:

  • age
  • race
  • creed
  • color
  • disability
  • marital status
  • sex including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
  • sexual orientation
  • national origin
  • ancestry
  • arrest or conviction record
  • membership in the national guard, state defense force or any reserve component of the military forces of the United States or Wisconsin
  • genetic testing
  • honesty testing
  • the use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer's premises during nonworking hours

Civil Air Patrol. Private and public employers who employ at least 11 individuals cannot refuse to hire or employ an individual, terminate an individual from employment, or discriminate against an individual in promotion, in compensation, or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the individual is or applies to be a member of the Civil Air Patrol or because the individual performs, has performed, applies to perform, or has an obligation to perform service in the Civil Air Patrol.

Traveling sales crews. Employees who are employed as part of traveling sales crews are protected from employment discrimination and retaliation for filing a complaint or attempting to enforce a protected right, or for testifying or assisting in any action or proceeding to enforce the employment discrimination and retaliation laws.

HIV testing. Employers are prohibited from soliciting or requiring an HIV test as a condition of employment of any employee or prospective employee or affecting the terms, conditions or privileges of employment or terminating the employment of any employee who obtains an HIV test.

In addition, any agreement by an employer or agent of the employer and an employee or prospective employee offering employment or pay or benefit to an employee or prospective employee in return for taking an HIV test is prohibited.

Employer meetings. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who choose not to attend religious or political meetings held by their employers, where the primary purpose of the meeting is to communicate the opinion of the employer about religious or political matters. Exceptions apply for certain employers, such as religious organizations and political organizations.

Recordkeeping/Posting Requirements

Employers are required to display a poster prepared by the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations in a conspicuous place on their premises.

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