Under Wisconsin law, an individual is afforded the legal right to be free from unreasonable invasions of privacy (WI Stat. Sec. 895.01). Wisconsin recognizes four separate types of invasion of privacy:
• Appropriation of one's name or likeness for personal advantage;
• Intrusion on seclusion or solitude or into one's private affairs;
• Public disclosure of private facts; and
• Publicity that places an individual in a false light in the public eye.
Penalties. Violations of the law may result in equitable relief (e.g., a cease-and-desist order), monetary damages, and an award of reasonable attorney's fees.
Frivolous actions. If an employer is successful in defending against an invasion of privacy claim, a Wisconsin court must then determine whether the claim was “frivolous.” A frivolous claim is defined by the law as one that either has no basis in law or equity (i.e., completely unfounded) or was commenced in bad faith or for harassment purposes. If the court determines that an employee's claim is frivolous, it must reasonably compensate the employer for those fees and costs incurred as a result of defending against the action (WI Stat. Sec. 995.50).
There is additional information on these common law rights of privacy.
Wisconsin was the first state to impose an involuntary chip ban on employers. Under the law, employers are prohibited from involuntarily implanting chips in employees in order to identify and track them. Specifically, employers may not make the chip a mandatory condition of employment. Employers that violate the law may be fined up to $10,000. Each day the employer violates the statute is a separate offense (WI Stat. Sec. 146.25).