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Wisconsin Family Leave Law


Posted by Tamara

How does the Wisconsin family leave law compare with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act? Many employees wonder about this.  

The Wisconsin family leave law allows less leave in some circumstances, and designates the purpose of leave. However, some employees who do not qualify for leave under the federal FMLA will qualify for leave under the Wisconsin law.  

The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act or WFMLA permits an employee to take unpaid leave under certain circumstances. The employee is entitled to take up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child. In addition, an employee can take two weeks to care for a parent, child, spouse or domestic partner with a serious health condition. The employee can also take two weeks of unpaid leave for his or her serious health condition.  

Some employees will qualify for more leave under FMLA than under the Wisconsin law. Unlike leave under the federal FMLA, Wisconsin family leave cannot be combined. Although the law provides for 10 total weeks of leave, it does not permit the employee to take all 10 weeks to care for a spouse with a serious health condition. That leave is capped at two weeks.  

In contrast, the federal FMLA or Family and Medical Leave Act permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain situations including the birth or adoption of a child. Both the Wisconsin and federal laws apply to male as well as female workers.  

Under both laws, the employee is not entitled to payment while on FMLA, but must be returned to his or her job at the end of leave. Employers are required to continue group health insurance during leave, as long as the employee continues to pay his or her portion of the premium.

 

While the Wisconsin family leave act permits leave to care for a domestic partner, the federal law does not. An employee can take leave only to care for a child, parent, or legally married spouse. 

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