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Bill would prevent local officials from setting stricter licensing, minimum-wage standards

Republican lawmakers are seeking co-sponsors for legislation that would prevent local governments from setting their rules and standards for various employment matters.

The legislation, for instance, would prohibit local governments and the state from mandating employers enter into labor-peace agreements with unions. Under these agreements, employers who do not agree to certain union demands would risk not receiving a permit or licenses necessary to operate.

The bill also would:

  • ban local governments from enforcing licensing requirements that are stricter than those set by the state;
  • set a statewide standard for employee scheduling, hour and overtime regulations;
  • establish uniform statewide regulations for employee benefits;
  • grant employers throughout Wisconsin the right to ask for salary information from job applicants;
  • scrap local governments’ ability to set minimum-wage requirements for contractors who do business with them;
  • prevent local governments from establishing a wage-claim process separate from the one set by the state; and
  • set up a statewide standard for employment discrimination by barring local governments from setting up their own employment-discrimination ordinances.

The lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate is Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield. Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, is the lead sponsor in the Assembly.

Kapenga’s office sent an email with details of the legislation to all members of the state Senate and Assembly on Thursday. Lawmakers have until Nov. 29 to add their names to the list of sponsors.

“Forcing employers to comply with a complex web of labor and human resource standards that differ by community makes Wisconsin a less attractive place to do business,” the email states. “This bill reaffirms that clear, uniform human resource standards are a matter of statewide concern.”

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