Advocates for working parents and families expressed significant concern regarding the proposal, as Wisconsin's FMLA is more generous than federal law. Wisconsin law requires employees to work fewer hours in order to be eligible and doesn't allow employers to require employees to substitute accrued paid or unpaid leave for their family medical leave. For a full rundown on the differences between the Wisconsin and federal FMLA's, see this helpful chart from the U.S. Department of Labor.
While it is currently unclear whether the partial repeal of Wisconsin's FMLA will become part of the state budget, the proposal appears to face an uphill battle at the moment. Both Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Joint Committee of Finance Co-Chair John Nygren have expressed their personal support for the measure, but have indicated that they do not think there is currently enough political support in the Legislature to include it in the budget.
We will continue to keep an eye on this issue as the budget continues to be debated in the Legislature. In the meantime, for those interested public polices that would make our workplaces more family friendly, take a look at the National Women's Law Center report that outlines a roadmap of policies that states can adopt to promote economic justice, which includes a section on requiring employers to provide their employees with the opportunity to earn paid sick days.