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Sick leave lawsuit referred to Supreme Court

By Sean Ryan

A state court of appeals will ask the Wisconsin Supreme Court to consider the case over Milwaukee’s sick leave law.

Instead of ruling Thursday in the lawsuit between the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and 9to5, National Association of Working Women, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District 4 will refer it to the higher court.

“We’ll see if the Supreme Court takes it,” said Joe Olson, MMAC attorney with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

The case is over a city of Milwaukee law that, if enacted, would require workers get at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked in Milwaukee. Companies with fewer than 10 workers must offer at least five sick days, and larger companies must let employees accrue at least nine days.

The law, although approved through referendum in November 2008, has not taken effect because of a lawsuit filed last year by the MMAC.

Barbara Quindel, attorney representing 9to5, said she would not comment on the case until the appeals court opinion is published Thursday morning.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper, after hearing the case last year, predicted the lawsuit eventually would end up on the Supreme Court’s docket.

Olson said it is no surprise the court of appeals is asking the higher court to make the final judgment.

“It’s just the case going on at this point,” he said. “We’ve got our injunction in place.”

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